Each week, the PFF analysis team will bring you break downs of the most important matchups for each game of the NFL season.
Coverage by: Elliott Rooney
Matchup: Minnesota Vikings offense vs. Chicago Bears defense
- QB Case Keenum vs. CB Kyle Fuller – Keenum has started the last three games for the Vikings after taking over for the injured Sam Bradford. In those three games Keenum has put together some strong performances, as he ranks seventh among quarterbacks with an overall PFF grade of 81.9. Between the weeks of 2-4, Keenum ranks fourth with 246 passing yards on deep passes (a pass targeted 20 or more yards downfield), and his passer rating of 106.8 ranks ninth. Fuller is one of the worst graded cornerbacks this season with an overall PFF grade of 35.5 which ranks 107th out of 111 qualifying corners. Fuller has been the fifth most targeted cornerback this season with 25 targets but hasn’t given up a touchdown yet and is only allowing a passer rating 78.9 when quarterbacks throw into his coverage.
- T Mike Remmers vs. Edge Leonard Floyd – So far this season Remmers has held his own in pass protection, only surrendering eight total pressures on his 140 pass-block snaps, his pass-blocking efficiency (PBE) of 95.7 ranks 19th and he is one of 15 tackles not to give up a sack this season. Second-year edge defender Floyd has really struggled this season, his overall PFF grade of 43.9 ranks 100th among 103 qualifying edge defenders. With a pass-rush productivity (PRP) of 7.1 Floyd ranks 70th, creating only nine total pressures on his 102 pass-rush snaps (PRP/PBE measures pressure created/allowed on a per snap basis with weighting towards sacks).
- G Joe Berger vs. DI Akiem Hicks – This will be the key battle in the run game, Berger has a run-block grade of 82.9 this season which ranks ninth among guards through four weeks of the NFL season. Hicks only ranks 25th among interior defenders with a run-defense grade of 80.2 but ranks third with a run-stop percentage of 15.1 this season. He has collected 11 stops in run defense on his 73 run snaps (a run stop is a tackle made in run defense that results in a “WIN” for the defense).
Coverage by: Lorin Cox
Matchup: Chicago Bears offense vs. Minnesota Vikings defense
- QB Mitchell Trubisky rollouts vs. Vikings secondary – The Bears’ rookie quarterback had a lot of success throwing off of designed rollouts this preseason, going 8-of-9 for 65 yards and two touchdowns, generating a 136.3 quarterback rating on such plays. The Vikings’ defense has seen mixed results defending rollouts in the regular season, allowing six completions on 10 attempts for 107 yards and a touchdown for a 130.0 passer rating. However, all four incompletions were thrown away, and they got pressure on five on the 11 total drop backs they faced, including one sack.
- T Charles Leno vs. Edge Everson Griffen – Leno is currently having the highest-graded season of his career at 74.4 overall, right now he ranks as the 16th-highest graded left tackle. He has yet to allow a sack this season with two hits and eight hurries on 149 pass-block snaps, and he is tied for the 23rd-best pass block efficiency among offensive tackles this season at 95.0. Griffen is also having the highest-graded season of his career as the fourth-highest graded edge defender at 88.9 overall. He’s generated five sacks, four hits and 12 hurries this season, tied for the third-most pressures of any edge rusher. 90.9 percent of his pass-rushes this season have come from the right side of the defense, matching him up with the left tackle more often than not.
- C Cody Whitehair vs. DI Linval Joseph – One of the league’s best interior defenders will face one of the worst centers this week as Joseph enters the game as the seventh-highest graded player at his position at 87.1 overall. He leads the NFL with 13 run stops, giving him the highest run-stop percentage among interior defenders at 18.3 percent, and to add to that he’s only missed one tackle all year. Whitehair, on the other hand, is the third-lowest graded center in the NFL at 37.8 overall, but his issues have come more in pass protection. He hasn’t given up a sack, but the three hits and seven hurries he has allowed give him the lowest pass-blocking efficiency at his position at 92.7, and a handful of poor snaps out of the shotgun have hurt his grade as well.