PFF Previews: Patriots @ Chiefs, Week 4
If the Chiefs are going to full off an upset in this game, their pass rush must continue to be as effective as it has been to this point in 2014. Stout outside linebackers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston (a PFF second team All-Pro in 2013) are both off to great starts this season. Their +4.0 and +2.3 pass rushing grades, respectively, rank in the Top 10 among 3-4 outside linebackers. Houston’s 11 total pressures and 11.3 Pass Rush Productivity are fourth best. Disrupting Tom Brady will be a key factor in a potential Kansas City victory.
New England’s offensive line will look to improve their quarterback protection in Week 4. An efficient unit in the past, the line has struggled during their first three games in 2014. Right tackle Sebastian Vollmer is the only lineman with a positive overall grade this season (+2.1) and each of the five starters have Pass Blocking grades under 0.0. Left tackle Nate Solder, coming off a solid 2013 season, has surprisingly allowed 10 total pressures in 122 pass blocking snaps. Containing the Chiefs’ pass rush will be a tall order for the Patriots on Monday night.
Here are three more notable numbers for each side:
New England Patriots
Devin McCourty – The safety’s +5.8 overall grade and+3.7 coverage grade both rank sixth in the NFL at his position through Week 3.
Julian Edelman – Owns a 119.1 Wide Receiver Rating which is the fifth highest mark in the NFL so far in 2014.
Chandler Jones – Has eight total pressures in his first three games, and his +6.9 Pass Rush Grade is tops among 3-4 outside linebackers in the league.
Kansas City Chiefs
Travis Kelce – Leads all tight ends accumulating at least 10 targets with 2.96 Yards per Route Run through his first three games.
Dontari Poe – Ranks second (in a tie with Bennie Logan) among defensive tackles with eight solo defensive stops this season.
Anthony Sherman – An important part of the Chiefs’ running game, Sherman is PFF’s fourth highest overall rated fullback (+1.3 grade) and is tied for the second best blocking grade (+1.1) in 2014.
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