PFF Preview: Chiefs @ 49ers, Week 5
The Chiefs and 49ers both claimed very big wins at home in Week 4, Kansas City pummeling the Patriots and San Francisco shutting down the up-tempo Eagles offense. This game will have a little extra drama than most cross-conference matchups as Alex Smith returns to play his old squad for the first time since being traded to the Chiefs in 2013.
If Smith hopes to replicate a Steve Smith-type of performance against his former team (although it’s doubtful he’ll be asking the Niners to mow his lawn afterwards), he’ll have to play better under pressure. Through four games he’s combined for a 51.6% completion percentage and 79.2 QB Rating, which is quite a big drop from the 70.1% and 99.0 QB Rating he’s posted when no pressure is applied.
If the Chiefs had faced the 49ers in the first three weeks of the season, Smith wouldn’t have had to be too concerned about his play under pressure, as San Francisco wasn’t generating much of it. However, the defense played very well against the Eagles last week and forced more hits (five) on the quarterback than they had in the first three games combined (four).
Here are three noteworthy numbers for each side:
Kansas City Chiefs
Justin Houston – is tied for third among 3-4 outside linebackers with his overall grade of +10.6. Tamba Hali’s fourth place score of +9.3 gives the Chiefs the highest graded duo at the position.
Travis Kelce – Has a higher target percentage than any other tight end with at least 35 routes run. He also leads all tight ends in Yards per Route Run at 3.60.
Chris Owens – in the slot, Owen’s has the 12th-best cover snap percentage at 9.2. Making it more impressive is the fact that he’s played more snaps (101) than all but two other qualifying cornerbacks.
San Francisco 49ers
Mike Iupati – has posted a healthy +6.8 run grade (second-place among guards) but a less than stout -3.9 in pass protection (65th place).
Aaron Lynch – is tied for most QB hits (3) on the team with Justin Smith even though he’s played less than half the snaps Smith has. He also has the second-best special teams’ grade for non-specialists at +2.4.
Perrish Cox – Quarterbacks throwing in Cox’s coverage have produced only a 28.6 QB Rating. That’s second-best in the the league behind only Vontae Davis of the Indianapolis Colts.
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