PFF Preview: Chiefs @ Steelers, Week 16
We’ve reached Week 16 and the AFC playoff race very much remains clouded as six teams, with eight to nine wins, remain in the hunt for a Wild Card berth. That being said, the Pittsburgh Steelers (9-5) have an opportunity to secure a playoff position with a victory over the Kansas City Chiefs (8-6), while the Chiefs hope to keep their Wild Card hopes alive when they make a trip to Heinz Field on Sunday.
In what will be a playoff like environment, the Chiefs will need to get Jamaal Charles going after a frustrating Week 15 performance in which he only carried the ball 12 times. Led by his fullback, Anthony Sherman, who leads all FB’s with a blocking grade of +6.0, Charles will look to take advantage of a Steelers defense that has yielded 100 yards on the ground in two of their past three games.
With the fifth-highest run grade of +8.9, Charles’ has been aided by his speed and quickness, which are notably part of his running style. On 183 attempts, Charles’ 37 missed tackles and 2.70 yards after contact have helped him generate an Elusive Rating of 58.7, seventh best among qualifying running backs. Charles has also compiled 338 yards on 12 runs of 15+ yards, giving him a Breakaway Percentage of 35.4%, fifth best.
As Charles attempts to become the seventh RB to eclipse the 1,000-yard rushing mark this season, Lawrence Timmons has other plans. Timmons has been the Steelers’ best defender against the run, evident by his team- leading 35 stops and a run defense grade of +10.1, also fourth among all inside linebackers. In addition to his 35 stops, Timmons has collected 50 tackles and 11 assisted tackles, for a Run Stop Percentage of 11.7%, sixth-best amongst all ILB’s.
Here are three more notable numbers for each side:
Kansas City Chiefs
Rodney Hudson – Hudson has anchored the Chiefs offensive line and his +9.6 overall grade is fifth among centers.
Alex Smith – Smith has a PFF Quarterback Rating of +13.2 when facing no pressure.
Travis Kelce – Kelce has forced 15 missed tackles, tied for third among tight ends.
Cameron Heyward – Heyward’s rush grade of +10.2 ranks first on the Steelers and eighth among 3-4 defensive ends.
Antonio Brown – When targeted deep down field (20+ yards), Brown’s Catch Rate of 50% is tied for fifth among qualifying wide receivers.
Maurkice Pouncey – Pouncey has helped pave the way for Le’Veon Bell, evident by his team leading +6.5 run block grade.
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