NFL Week 12 Preview: Bills at Chiefs
The Buffalo Bills visit the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 12 of the 2017 NFL season. PFF previews the top player matchups of the game.
PFFELO Ranking: 21
Coverage by: Elliott Rooney
Matchup: Buffalo Bills offense vs. Kansas City Chiefs defense
- QB Tyrod Taylor vs. CB Marcus Peters – News broke Wednesday that Taylor will be reinserted as the starter in Buffalo for the Chiefs game. Taylor gives the Bills the best chance to win, with the fifth-highest passer rating at the intermediate level (10-19 yards) and the fifth-best passer rating when under pressure at 82.3. Taylor could have some success targeting Peters, a defender who has struggled over his last two games. Peters has been targeted nine times in those games and has allowed eight receptions for 137 yards. His passer rating when targeted during those games of 118.8 ranks 79th out of 103 cornerbacks during that time.
- TE Charles Clay vs. LB Derrick Johnson – Clay returned from injury two weeks ago and should help give the passing game a much needed boost. The tight end is Buffalo’s second most targeted player with 34 targets this season and leads the team with 25 receptions. Clay has been one of the most effective tight ends running routes this season, with an average of two yards per route run. Johnson is one of the best coverage linebackers in the NFL this season, his coverage grade of 85.8 is the seventh best by a linebacker. Johnson is only allowing a passer rating of 52.1 when targeted this season, which is second best by a linebacker and he is only allowing 42.3 percent of passes thrown into his coverage to be caught, which is the best rate among linebackers.
- RB LeSean McCoy vs. Edge Justin Houston – McCoy had one of his best games of the season against the Chargers on Sunday, his overall PFF grade of 84.5 was the third best by a running back in Week 11 and the second highest for McCoy all season. Despite this McCoy is still struggling to make defenders miss this year, particularly running the ball, his 17 forced missed tackles while running ranks 19th and his yards after contact of 2.09 average ranks 46th out of 48 running backs. Houston will make his challenge even harder on Sunday, as he has been one of the best run defenders all season. His run-defense grade of 87.0 ranks ninth among edge defender and his 22 stops in run defense rank second.
Coverage by: Mike Guerrelli
Matchup: Kansas City Chiefs offense vs. Buffalo Bills defense
- RB Kareem Hunt vs. LB Preston Brown – Buffalo’s defense has been struggling, giving up 101 total points the last two weeks. This looks like a good matchup for Hunt, who is PFF’s top-ranked running back with a 90.7 overall grade this season. He’s second among running backs with 100-plus touches in PFF elusive rating (boils down a runner’s success beyond the point of being helped by his blockers). Hunt’s rushing grade of 88.8 matches up well with Brown’s run-defense grade of 42.7. He also has an advantage in the passing game, with an 84.7 receiving grade compared to Brown’s 46.1 coverage grade. Brown is 52nd in run-stop percentage among linebackers at 7.6 percent this year.
- TE Travis Kelce vs. S Jordan Poyer – This is a great matchup between the tight end with the highest receiving grade at 89.8 in Kelce, and the safety with the eighth best coverage grade in Poyer at 89.6. Kelce is PFF’s top ranked tight end with an 88.8 overall grade in 2017. He leads all tight ends with 30 receptions and 439 yards receiving from the slot this season. Poyer’s 83.0 overall grade ranks 18th at the safety position through Week 11. He has allowed 17 receptions for 202 yards in 324 coverage snaps, and no touchdowns with two interceptions.
- WR Tyreek Hill vs. CB Tre’Davious White – Hill is one of the NFL’s fastest players, and probably hasn’t been targeted enough downfield given that fact. He is 16th among wide receivers with 14 deep targets this season (targets 20-plus yards downfield), and has only been targeted deep on 21.5 percent of his total targets. He is very effective on crossing routes with a 145.8 passer rating, and go routes with a 132.2 passer rating. White is PFF’s 10th ranked cornerback with an 87.8 overall grade. His 10 passes defensed are tied for the most of any cornerback through Week 11. White has been vulnerable on go routes, allowing two touchdowns and a passer rating of 120.6.