The Three Lions backline struggled to contain a not-fully fit Luis Suarez as he scored twice to put Roy Hodgson's men in danger of a group-stage exit for the first time in 56 years, and Ferdinand believes that very few players put in good performances in Sao Paulo.
He told BBC Sport: "As long as we continue to defend as we did tonight and against Italy then we'll struggle to progress. I didn't see many positives in that performance.
"[Wayne] Rooney's first World Cup goal perhaps, but there weren't big performances from our big players. Raheem Sterling didn't really turn up, [Daniel] Sturridge struggled at times but the huge concern was the way we defended for the goals conceded."
Ferdinand won 81 caps for England and was part of three World Cup squads, with his first tournament call-up coming in 1998.