DET-KC Grades: Chiefs destroy Lions thanks to frenzied pass rush
Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Chiefs’ 45-10 win over the Lions.
Kansas City Chiefs
– This was an efficient performance from QB Alex Smith (+1.3) under the Wembley arch, taking what the Lions so gratuitously gifted to him even when that extended to lengthy scrambles. A second straight positive grade for Smith continues a season of solid if unspectacular play, with only his dire display against the Packers in Week 3 dragging his season grade down. The Chiefs will need more from Smith’s connection with WR Jeremy Maclin, which was highlighted by that impressive touchdown over LB Stephen Tulloch if they are to build on this momentum after their bye week.
– The Chiefs’ pass rushers were clearly revved up to get after this ailing Detroit offensive line, and both LB Justin Houston (+2.6) and particularly LB Tamba Hali (+4.8) took full advantage of their opportunities. Houston earned his 15th-straight positive game grade (a streak dating back to Week 11 last season) while Hali racked up four pressures or more for the fourth straight week and the sixth time this season. The Chiefs’ dynamic duo have combined for 76 pressures so far this season, on course to eclipse the total of 131 they combined for last season.
– Earning consecutive overall grades of +1.0 or higher for only the second time in his career, Chiefs’ guard Jeff Allen (+5.1) posted a career high this week with some punishing run blocking to help clear a path for RB Charcandrick West (+2.4) on the ground. Allen added to his work in the running game with two screen blocks on the same play midway through the second quarter, knocking down both Tulloch (-2.0) and DE Darryl Tapp (+1.6) on the same play.
LG Jeff Allen (+5.1)
OLB Tamba Hali (+4.8)
OLB Justin Houston (+2.6)
HB Charcandrick West (+2.4)
S Tyvon Branch (+1.8)
– A week ago when the Lions hemorrhaged seven sacks to the Vikings, there were issues with scheme and line calls. For the most part this week, however, it was just an offensive line unable to contain the opposing pass rushers. FS Ron Parker’s unblocked sack less than five minutes in raised fears of a repeat performance with unaccounted rushers, but from there the sacks were either clean beats or players failing to pick up their man. Right tackle LaAdrian Waddle (-5.3) was the main culprit surrendering a trio of sacks to LB’s Justin Houston and Derrick Johnson.
– Throwing the ball down the field is not a problem for QB Matthew Stafford (-2.4), and there were at least some throws to take advantage of that part of his game yesterday. What continues to be a problem for Stafford, however, is making sound decisions and accurately finding receivers on short passes. Stafford went 10 of 17 for 65 yards and an interception on passes targeted between 0 and 9 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, earning a PFF passing grade of -3.2 on those throws.
– Bright spots have been few and far between for the Lions this season, but CB Darius Slay (+3.3) offered some cause for optimism against the Chiefs yesterday, earning his third positive grade in the last four weeks. Targeted three times, Slay surrendered only one catch for seven yards, breaking up the other two passes targeted into his coverage. Since surrendering 123 yards on six targets against the Broncos in Week 3, Slay has surrendered 189 yards on 25 targets in the five games since with his six pass breakups the second most among NFL cornerbacks in that span.
LG Laken Tomlinson (+3.5)
DE Devin Taylor (+3.4)
CB Darius Slay (+3.3)
DE Darryl Tapp (+1.6)
DT Andre Fluellen (+1.3)