KC-GB Grades: Randall Cobb continues to prove worth
Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Packers-Chiefs game:
Green Bay Packers
– It was for games like this that the Green Bay Packers retained Randall Cobb (+4.2) in the off-season, rather than allowing his unique skill-set to walk away for big free agent dollars. Cobb led the league with 10 touchdowns out of the slot last season, and after his three last night, his 2015 total already stands at four. After losing slot corner Phillip Gaines (-0.6) to injury in the first quarter, the Chiefs deployed Tyvon Branch (-5.4) on Cobb—the former Oakland safety simply didn’t have answer for Cobb’s short-area skills.
– The Packers’ strength and versatility in the front seven was led once again by Clay Matthews (+4.8), who excelled both at inside linebacker and as a pass rusher off the edge. Matthews played the run well, but crucially turned in his most productive game (two sacks, one hit, six hurries) as a pass rusher since Week 1 of the 2010 season, when he took apart the Philadelphia Eagles (three sacks, one hit, six hurries).
– Matthews wasn’t the lone light in the front seven, however, with Mike Daniels (+5.7) turning in his best performance of the season to serve a reminder that he is absolutely one of the league’s best 3-4 defensive ends not named J.J. Watt. His +5.7 overall grade is the highest of his career so far, and he topped his six pressures from last night’s game (two sacks, four hurries) only once last season (Week 5, against Minnesota, he had one sack, three hits, and three hurries).
DE Mike Daniels (+5.7)
LB Clay Matthews (+4.8)
WR Randall Cobb (+4.2)
RG T.J. Lang (+2.9)
LG Josh Sitton (+2.4)
Kansas City Chiefs
– Pressure will surely start to mount on Alex Smith (-8.3), after he once again came up short for the Chiefs in a big game, with Kansas City having the opportunity to prove themselves as genuine contenders. Smith actually connected on some nice throws down the field, but threw a dreadful interception and was guilty of two bad fumbles on sacks, as well. The Chiefs have the talent to contend, but the limitations of their quarterback might only be growing.
– Justin Houston (+2.0) continued his strong start to the season, but considering what we have seen from both Houston and his direct opponent, Don Barclay (-7.0), so far this season, his performance might be considered somewhat of a disappointment. Houston racked up five pressures and four stops, but was held without a sack or a hit for the first time this season, and couldn’t convert disruption into difference-making plays for the Chiefs’ defense.
– Making his first start of the season at right tackle, Eric Fisher (+1.0) turned in one of the best games of his career, earning a pass protection grade of +1.0 or better for only the second time ever. Fisher struggled as a run blocker, but surrendered only three pressures on 60 pass rushes. He turned a credit-worthy performance after only playing three snaps through the first two weeks of the season.
DE Jaye Howard (+3.8)
OLB Justin Houston (+2.0)
C Mitch Morse (+1.8)
DE Mike Devito (+1.4)
LT Eric Fisher (+1.0)