CLE-KC Grades: Poe continues to impress in victory
Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Chiefs’ 17-13 win over the Browns.
– This was a game that QB Johnny Manziel (-5.5) would love to forget. He was effective when running/scrambling, gaining 109 yards on 11 runs and forcing four missed tackles. But his throwing was brutally ineffective. He finished with a -9.2 passing grade, thanks to multiple turnover-potential plays, and just plain missing his receivers. When he was under pressure, he completed just one-of-nine for 11 yards. The Chiefs decided to sit back and rarely blitz, instead forcing Manziel to try to beat them just by reading the defense and throwing. He did not, completing just 11-of-28 for 123 yards and an interception. Not a good sign for Manziel’s future with the Browns.
– The Browns’ defense didn’t deserve this loss, as they were able to hold the Chiefs to just 17 points and played very effectively. The defense was Led by OLB Nate Orchard (+2.7), who finished with three defensive stops, a sack, and an interception on the day. It was also a great day for OLB Paul Kruger (+2.1), whose four QB hurries led the team. He also had three defensive stops and finished with a positive grade in the run defense game. One player who struggled in limited snaps was DE Xavier Cooper (-3.4), who failed to record a pressure, and had just one defensive stop on his way to the lowest grade among Browns’ defenders
– It was a mixed day for the Browns’ offensive line. RT Mitchell Schwartz (+4.1) continued his should-be-Pro Bowl caliber season, finishing with the highest grade among all Browns’ players. He was very effective in the run game, opening up holes and allowing very disruptive plays. In the passing game, he allowed just one hurry. On the flip side, RG Cameron Erving (-5.2) allowed four hurries and was extremely ineffective in the run game, allowing multiple run stops and finishing with a -4.1 grade there. Overall, the offensive line allowed no sacks and no hits, but 10 hurries.
T Mitchell Schwartz (+4.1)
OLB Nate Orchard (+2.7)
SS Donte Whitner (+2.3)
OLB Paul Kruger (+2.1)
TE Jim Dray (+2.0)
Kansas City Chiefs
– It wasn’t a pretty win, but the Chiefs can thank QB Alex Smith (+2.3) for his effective play leading them to victory. His scrambling was very effective, gaining 53 yards on just six scrambles. When not under pressure, he was picking apart the Browns’ defense, completing 14-of-16 passes for 116 yards and two touchdowns. However, when pressured, he completed just one-of-six passes for 9 yards and an interception. In true Alex Smith fashion, he rarely looked deep, attempting just two passes greater than 20 yards downfield, neither of which were on target.
– Perhaps CB Marcus Peters (+2.8) was determined to prove that he deserved his Pro Bowl selection last week, because yesterday’s game was his highest graded of the season. He had a +3.6 coverage grade, thanks to allowing only two-of-nine receptions for just 20 yards. He had a great pass breakup, and another great interception. Across from him, CB Sean Smith (+1.9) had a quiet game, as Manziel rarely looked to throw his way. But by the end of the game, he had thrown at Smith three times, none of which were caught.
– NT Dontari Poe (+4.0) continued his recent string of great games, finishing with the highest grade on the team. He had a +1.3 pass rush grade, thanks to five QB hurries, and a +3.5 run defense grade, thanks to his six solo run stops and multiple other disruptive plays. One player whose production did not match their grade was OLB Dee Ford (-2.6). Ford finished with three QB hits and three hurries, but a -1.9 pass rush grade. Why? Well, every single one of his pressures was either a cleanup play, or he was unblocked. When Ford was asked to actually beat a lineman to get pressure, he failed to do it even once.
NT Dontari Poe (+4.0)
CB Marcus Peters (+2.8)
QB Alex Smith (+2.3)
DE Allen Bailey (+2.2)
CB Sean Smith (+1.9)