It seems like every week we’re asking what’s wrong with somebody, so might as well making it a regular post. This week, we’re wondering what’s wrong with Roddy White.
One year after putting up epic numbers and being named an All-Pro wide receiver, White has suddenly regressed smack dab in the middle of his prime. Sunday’s game against the Saints might have been his worst yet — White was held to just 62 yards on four catches while dropping a pass that led to an interception and taking two costly penalties in a crucial loss to Atlanta’s biggest rival.
The suddenly mistake-prone veteran should be at the climax of his career, but instead he’s leading the NFL in dropped passed with nine through nine games. One year after catching a league-high 115 passes for 1,389 yards and 10 touchdowns, White is on pace to record only 83 receptions for 1,000 yards and five touchdowns. He’s hit the 100-yard mark only once all year.
It would be easy to blame the presence of top pick Julio Jones for the statistical decline, but Jones has missed nearly three whole games due to injury, and White has actually struggled most when Jones hasn’t been in the lineup (as was the case for the final three quarters on Sunday).
Besides, that doesn’t explain the drops and the penalties.
Sure, Matt Ryan’s numbers have dipped a bit this year as well, but White simply hasn’t been the same player. And there’s evidence that Ryan might be losing faith in his former top target. When the game was on the line late in the fourth quarter Sunday, Ryan began a game-tying two-minute drill by throwing four straight passes at Harry Douglas. He followed that with four consecutive passes intended for Tony Gonzalez, before going to Eric Weems on two of the final three plays to set up a Matt Bryan field goal. On 11 dropbacks, Ryan threw to White just once.
So, what’s wrong with Roddy White?