Marion Barber(notes), Running Back, Dallas Cowboys. Marion the Barbarian ran more like Marion the Vegetarian Librarian. He squeezed just 36 yards out of his 15 carries, and failed on two other huge plays in the game. He fumbled with 1:18 left in the first half, which allowed the Giants to punch the ball in the end zone, taking the lead and momentum into halftime. Then, with 3:38 left in the game, the Cowboys had to go for a fourth-and-2, and Barber made himself a big, stationary tackling dummy for Aaron Ross(notes). He had some help from Nick Folk(notes) in losing this one, but it was a colossally bad game for Barber.
Tom Brady(notes), Quarterback, New England Patriots. Brady has made a career out of being a fourth-quarter stud, which is why it's so jarring to see him put up a fourth quarter more befitting Steve Grogan. Early in the fourth, Brady threw to the wrong Randy Moss(notes) shoulder in the end zone, and it was picked off. Later, he overthrew a wide open Wes Welker(notes) streaking down the middle of the field for what could/should have been a touchdown. And of course, he finished things up with the interception to Channing Crowder(notes), thrown while he was being sacked. If any of those plays go the Patriots' way, they probably walk away with the win.
Frank Gore(notes), Running Back, San Francisco 49ers. The 25 yards gained on nine carries was bad, but the fourth-quarter fumble turned the game and perhaps submarined the season. It was a must-win for the Niners, and Alex Smith stepped up with a 300-yard game, Vernon Davis(notes) was unstoppable, and Gore, the guy they can usually depend on, just didn't show up.
Chris Redman(notes), Quarterback, Atlanta Falcons. Redman's final stats -- 23-of-44, 235 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions -- weren't completely pukeworthy. Off paper, though, his game looked much worse. He played as if he thought the Falcons were awarded points if they could bounce the football off of Eagles' hands and helmets. You could put Gary Coleman in at quarterback, and he wouldn't have had as many balls batted down at the line.
Shaun Suisham(notes), Kicker, Washington Redskins, and Ethan Albright(notes), Long Snapper, Washington Redskins. It look a bunch of breakdowns from a handful of Redskins to squander that game against the Saints, but missing a 23-yard field goal is the least forgivable. Had it been from 45 yards, maybe even 35, I'd never mention it. But 23? Twenty-three, fellas? Albright rifled the snap high, so it took holder holder Hunter Smith(notes) a split-second longer to get it down, and Suisham's rhythm was thrown off. Who takes the lion's share of the blame, I don't know. From 23 yards away, however, all three men involved should execute that kick successfully, even if they're blindfolded, nude and covered in maple syrup.