Shutdown Corner - NFL

5. Laurence Maroney(notes), RB, Denver Broncos. In the trade for Maroney, the Broncos didn't actually give up any draft picks; essentially they just moved one fourth-round pick to the sixth round. Still, they appear to have been fleeced. Any number of available free agents -- Ahman Green(notes), Dominic Rhodes(notes), Terrell Davis, Refrigerator Perry, David Huddleston -- could have matched Maroney's production this weekend: 11 carries, 5 yards. Maybe it's not fair to single out one game, though. Fine. He had 12 carries for 24 yards the week before.

4. Jay Cutler(notes), QB, Chicago Bears; anyone attempting to block for Jay Cutler, Mike Martz. You saw what happened on Sunday night against the Giants. He was sacked nine times in the first half, and somewhere in there, he suffered a concussion. A lot of those sacks came because the Bears aren't very good at this fashionable new technique that some of the league's more advanced teams are using: It's called "blocking." Some of them were because Cutler hangs on to the ball too long. And some of them were because the Giants completely out-schemed Mike Martz and the Chicago offense. No team looks that bad on offense unless the other team has found some glaring hole to exploit.

3. Nate Clements(notes), CB, San Francisco 49ers. The awesomeness of Roddy White(notes) was applauded in the MVPs below, but White would've never had the opportunity if Clements didn't do something silly to begin with. The proper play for Clements there was to take a knee. I know it's hard to think of when you're caught up in the moment, but it's not unheard-of, either. Other players have done this. Clements went hunting for the unnecessary touchdown, though. Had he taken a knee, the 49ers could have run out the clock, or at the very least, given the ball back to the Falcons with less than a minute and no timeouts. And right now, we might all still be holding out some hope that the 49ers could actually turn into a decent team at some point.

2. Derek Anderson(notes), QB, Arizona Cardinals. I hate to say it, because I like the guy, but whatever it was that made Derek Anderson good for that one year with Cleveland ... it's probably gone forever. There's just no confidence there, no ability to make quick decisions, and no accuracy. He was pulled in favor of Max Hall(notes) against the Chargers, and I can't think of a single good reason that the Cardinals wouldn't continue to go with Hall as their starter.

1. Jason Avant(notes), WR, Philadelphia Eagles. I know -- it wouldn't have been an easy catch, and it's probably way too hard on him to put Jason Avant in this spot. But when we've got a Hail Mary pass, in a highly intriguing game, and a receiver has a clean shot to make the catch, unmolested in the end zone for a game-winning score, and he flat-out drops the ball ... well, it's disappointing. I had no particular rooting interest here, but unless it's against your team, who doesn't love a Hail Mary? We could have been talking about this finish all week long.

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