PFF Preview: Chiefs @ Cardinals, Week 14
As only a quarter of the season remains and the playoff race heats up, the Kansas City Chiefs (7-5) and the Arizona Cardinals (9-3) look to right the ship, having both dropped consecutive games.
Although the Cardinals are tied for the best record in football and were playing like Super Bowl contenders through a large part of the season, they’ve been dealt a few injury blows as of late and aren’t as threatening as they once appeared. That being said, Larry Fitzgerald may suit up on Sunday, which would give Drew Stanton and the Cardinals’ offense a much-needed boost.
Despite what many would consider a quiet season for Fitzgerald, he has still established himself once again as the Cardinals’ best pass-catcher. Fitzgerald, who leads the team in receptions (46) and yards (658), also has a team-best WR Rating of 113.5 and has proven to be sure handed, as he is the only Cardinals’ WR yet t drop a pass. His receiving grade of +5.1 is also best among the Cardinals’ receiving core and 19th in the league.
Indeed, the 31-year-old can still move better than most. With 11 missed tackles forced, Fitzgerald is tied for ninth among all WR’s, and his 301 yards after the catch ranks second on the team, trailing only Andre Ellington.
The Chiefs’ offense has dealt with struggles of their own, often turning to Sean Smith and their defense to keep them in games. Smith (+9.8) is the fifth-highest-rated cover corner in the league and will look to frustrate Fitzgerald & Co. on Sunday. Even though Smith has played the 12th-most snaps among corners, leaving more room for error, he has played well letting up just 1.01 Yards Per Coverage Snap (ranks 23rd) and is only allowing a reception every 11.8 Coverage Snaps played.
Here are three more notable numbers for each side:
Kansas City Chiefs
Anthony Sherman – Thanks to his +7.5 blocking grade, Sherman is the highest-rated fullback in the league.
Alex Smith – Smith has attempted 16 passes of 20+ yards, near the bottom of the league, and has completed only six.
Justin Houston – Houston has rushed the passer on 73% of pass plays he seen and 90% of those rushes have come from the left.
Drew Stanton – Stanton has an Accuracy Percentage of 36.1% on attempts of 20+ yards, 25th out of 38 qualifying quarterbacks.
John Brown – Brown has nine receptions of 20+ yards, tied with Jordy Nelson for 10th most.
Antonio Cromartie – Cromartie is playing as well as he has in recent memory. His +7.9 coverage grade is tied for ninth.
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