PFF Preview: Colts @ Browns, Week 14
Having won two consecutive games, the Indianapolis Colts (8-4) hope to remain hot as they try and wrap up the AFC South and head into the playoffs on a run. In their way stands the Cleveland Browns (7-5) who are coming off a disappointing 26-10 loss to the Buffalo Bills and seem to have a quarterback controversy brewing.
Nonetheless, the Browns remain in the hunt for a division title and the Wild Card race and are more than capable of slowing down Andrew Luck and the Colts. No question Luck and the Colts’ passing game are difficult to contain, however, the Browns will take their league-leading cumulative coverage grade of +32.9 to the field on Sunday in hopes of doing just that.
Led by Luck, the Colts’ pass offense has been impressive this year and Luck leads the league in drop-backs with 540 — when you have a quarterback with his ability, that’s just all the more reason to sling the ball around the field. Luck, who has a passing grade of +14.9 (sixth-best), also has the fourth-best PFF QB Rating of 93.91. Yes, his league-leading 4012 passing yards are impressive, but even more impressive is the fact that 2,290 of those yards have been via Yards in the Air (also a league-best).
The Browns need to be cautious of Luck’s big-play ability, as he has been one of the best QB’s this year when throwing deep down field (20+ yards); a league-best 34 deep completions, 11 touchdowns, and an Accuracy Percentage of 53.7%, (third-best).
Joe Haden had a rough start to the season grading in the red for the first three games as he adjusted to a new system. Since then he has a +9.0 overall rating and foes throwing at him in coverage have an NFL quarterback rating of 47.0 which is sixth-best in the league from Week 4 on.
As Luck will be looking to take his shots on Sunday, Haden will play an important role in making sure he leads the back end of the defense and limits big plays.
Here are three more notable numbers for each side:
T.Y. Hilton – Hilton has a Catch Rate of 54.5 when targeted deep down field (20+ yards), third among 72 WR’s with a minimum of eight targets.
Anthony Castonzo – With a pass block grade of +8.8, Castonzo has been the Colts’ best lineman in regards to pass blocking.
Vontae Davis – Davis is giving up only 0.85 Yards Per Coverage Snap , 14th among 118 cornerbacks who have played a minimum of 126 snaps in coverage.
Joe Thomas – Thomas has a run block grade of +14.2, best among all tackles.
Donte Whitner – Although Whitner has an overall grade of +8.6, he has been at his best in run support, earning a run defense grade of +7.5.
Taylor Gabriel – Gabriel has been targeted 15 times deep down field, the most of any Browns receivers.
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