PIT-KC Grades: Chiefs’ defense feasts on Landry Jones
Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Chiefs’ 23-13 win over the Steelers.
– RB Le’Veon Bell (+1.4) entered this week as PFF’s highest-graded rusher and nothing changed there as he forced three missed tackles on the ground and added a fourth as a receiver while gaining more than seven yards per carry. As usual, he was adept at running through defenders with more than half of his yards (70) coming after contact. For the season, Bell has averaged 3.6 yards after contact per attempt, the second-highest mark among 57 qualifying running backs.
– Rough outing for QB Landry Jones, who compiled a -2.6 overall grade in his first start. H went just three of nine on balls thrown within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage, but connected on four of six deep (20+ yard) attempts, most of them jump balls where he relied on WR Antonio Brown (+2.6) to win at the catch point. Jones faced a moderate amount of pressure (32.3% of dropbacks), but actually had a lower passing grade when given a clean pocket, in part due to his interception at 0:36 of the second quarter.
– Linebackers Lawrence Timmons and Ryan Shazier combined for a sack at 0:34 of the third quarter, but that was one of few positives as both struggled tremendously against a rushing attack that gained 4.8 yards per attempt. The two combined for three missed tackles and had consistent trouble shedding blocks, particularly Shazier, whom OG Ben Grubbs successfully blocked on multiple plays including at 10:32 of the second quarter.
WR Antonio Brown (+2.6)
RG David DeCastro (+2.5)
LB James Harrison (+1.7)
RB Le’Veon Bell (+1.4)
LG Ramon Foster (+1.4)
Kansas City Chiefs
– This was a solid performance for QB Alex Smith (+1.5), who was fairly risk-averse with just eight of 29 aimed attempts traveling more than 10 yards in the air. He was off-target on a couple of throws, but never put the ball at risk and otherwise was just solid moving the chains with help from the rushing attack led by Charcandrick West. Smith faced frequent pressure (40% of dropbacks) but handled it well with a 72.7 accuracy percentage on those plays.
– Linebacker Derrick Johnson (+2.8) hit the +2.0 mark for the third straight game after an outstanding day in coverage. He only allowed one reception that gained eight yards while getting his hands on three passes. The most notable of the three came at 0:26 of the second quarter when he positioned well in zone coverage and easily took advantage of the underthrow/misread from QB Landry Jones.
– After a very rough start to the season, rookie third round draft pick, WR Chris Conley, had a season-high grade (+2.0) for the Chiefs on Sunday. This was his first positive overall grade of his career after catching six of seven targets for 63 yards and a touchdown while against four different defenders in primary coverage. Four of his catches resulted in a first down or touchdown with the most impressive of the bunch occurring at 6:31 of the third quarter when he put his elusiveness on display, breaking multiple tackles on a screen pass to set the Chiefs up with first-and-goal.
LB Derrick Johnson (+2.8)
WR Chris Conley (+2.0)
S Eric Berry (+1.9)
LG Ben Grubbs (+1.8)
LB Tamba Hali (+1.6)