NO-KC grades: Smith efficient, Chiefs' secondary excellent in win over Saints
Kansas City Chiefs 27, New Orleans Saints 21
Here are the biggest takeaways and top-graded players from Kansas City’s 27-21 win over New Orleans in Week 7:
Quarterback grade: Alex Smith, 70.7
Alex Smith was his typical self, as he didn’t push the ball down the field aggressively, but was able to keep the chains moving with his efficiency. On throws that traveled less than 10 yards through the air, he completed all but one of his 14 attempts. He had a perfect QB rating (158.3) against the blitz, as he completed seven of nine throws when faced with an extra rusher for 120 yards and both of his touchdowns.
Top offensive grades:
RB Spencer Ware, 75.9
TE Travis Kelce, 73.1
OT Mitchell Schwartz, 72.5
WR Jeremy Maclin, 72.2
WR Chris Conley, 71.0
Strong O-line play keeps Smith clean
Despite Smith completing just 17 passes, five different receivers tallied multiple catches. RB Spencer Ware had the most productive day through the air, as his 46-yard screen pass TD in the first quarter put the Chiefs on the scoreboard quickly. While the only offensive linemen to make the top five grades was RT Mitchell Schwartz, the line’s outstanding pass blocking left Smith with plenty of time to find open targets. The Chiefs yielded just three total pressures on the day, with no player giving up more than one.
Top defensive grades:
S Daniel Sorensen, 86.2
ILB Ramik Wilson, 82.8
S Ron Parker, 82.6
DE Jaye Howard, 82.4
CB DJ White, 80.8
Second-year ILB Wilson has career day in first appearance of the season
ILB Ramik Wilson played just 21 total snaps, but seemed to make an impact on every play. Despite the low volume, he racked up eight solo tackles (10 total) with three total defensive stops. While he gave up catches all three times he was targeted, he yielded a grand total of just 13 yards. S Daniel Sorensen also had a huge day, as he had an interception and a sack to go with four total defensive stops.
Quarterback grade: Drew Brees, 75.5
While his final stat line looks strong, much of Drew Brees’ production came in the fourth quarter trying to make up a two-possession deficit. Kansas City’s strong perimeter play in coverage forced him to work shallow and underneath routes, as he completed just one of three deep shots (passes that traveled at least 20 yards through the air). While he was pressured on just 10 of 49 dropbacks, his production dropped off considerably when under duress. When he had a clean pocket, he produced a QB rating of 127.0, but when faced with pressure, his rating plummeted to 28.2.
Top offensive grades:
RB Mark Ingram, 76.9
C Max Unger, 75.0
WR Willie Snead, 75.9
QB Drew Brees, 75.5
OT Zach Strief, 74.7
Ground game fails to supplement aerial assault
RB Mark Ingram graded well (despite his fumble) because of his four broken tackles, but he averaged just 3.9 yards per carry and had a long run of just seven yards. Several offensive linemen have rough days, in particular guard Jahri Evans. He gave up a sack, a hit and a hurry, and also graded poorly on run blocks. WRs Michael Thomas and Willie Snead both had very productive days, as the duo caught 19 of 23 targets for 217 yards.
Top defensive grades:
DI Tyeler Davison, 79.3
S Vonn Bell, 77.3
LB Craig Robertson, 77.1
DI Nick Fairley, 75.8
ED Darryl Tapp, 71.2
Strong run play ruined by another bad showing in the secondary
DT Tyeler Davison doesn’t pop on the stat sheet with his one solo tackle, but he dominated the middle of the line of scrimmage and made it difficult for Kansas City to get its run game going. His 80.8 run-defense grade was tops on the Saints’ roster, and easily his best showing of the season. While the Saints were generally strong on run defense, the same can’t be said about their play in coverage. In particular, CBs B.W. Webb and Ken Crawley had major struggles, as they gave up a combined seven catches on just nine targets and a touchdown.
PFF Game-Ball Winner: Chiefs S Daniel Sorensen
PFF’s player grading process includes multiple reviews, which may change the grade initially published in order to increase its accuracy. Learn more about how we grade and access grades for every player through each week of the NFL season by subscribing to Player Grades.