The soul-crushing slog of playing on a bad NFL team

When a season starts to slip away, as it has for many teams around the league right now, it breaks your soul as a player. The energy level in the building dips, the attention to detail falls off, the William Hayes Youth Jersey game prep starts to feel like homework. You start looking toward the offseason, just hoping to make it through the rest of the games healthy.

I experienced it firsthand back in 2003 as a member of Steve Spurrier’s Washington Redskins. After a 3-1 start that included a win over Tom Brady and the Patriots, we were talking big at the beginning of October: playoffs, Super Bowl, Pro Bowls. Hey, everyone wanted in on this thing. Jump on the train.

But success in the NFL can be so fleeting. We lost the next four games and never recovered. From 3-1 to 5-11. Brutal.

Bradford’s average pass was thrown 3.4 yards past the line of scrimmage, the shortest average throw distance by any QB in a game in the last 2 seasons (min. 30 attempts). Only one of his 37 pass attempts traveled more than 15 yards downfield as 78 percent of his attempts were within five yards of the line of scrimmage. As a result, only eight of Bradford’s 37 pass attempts (22 percent) gained a first down, the lowest percentage by a player in Week 12.

However, Goff struggled in the second half, throwing for 47 yards on 12 attempts. He also took two sacks, meaning that in 14 total dropbacks in the second half, the Rams gained 28 yards (2.0 yards per play). Goff completed all three of his third-down pass attempts in Zach Laskey Youth Jersey the second half on Sunday, but none of them gained first downs. He was 0-for-3 on passes thrown beyond the first down marker in the second half.

Goff also had the first two turnovers of his NFL career on Sunday, losing a fumble in the second quarter and throwing an interception in the third quarter.

In his first start since November 2013, Tolzien had some highlights and more than a few lowlights in the Colts’ 28-7 loss on Thursday night. In addition to two interceptions, Tolzien was sacked three times and fumbled once against Pittsburgh.

Like the rest of the Colts, who were stopped on two separate drives that reached the Steelers’ 1-yard line, Tolzien struggled in goal-to-go situations. In five goal-to-go plays, he gained more than 1 yard once and cost the team about 1.7 expected points. Tolzien has some positive to build upon, but ultimately his inability to convert his yards into points was a major contributor to his ranking atop this leaderboard.

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