PFF Preview: Chiefs @ Chargers, Week 7

Kevin Connaghan highlights the important players for each side in this Week 7 Chiefs-Chargers' divisional clash.

| 3 years ago

PFF Preview: Chiefs @ Chargers, Week 7

2014-Prev-WK07-KC@SDFresh 0ff their bye week, Andy Reid’s 2-3 Kansas City Chiefs face an AFC West clash against Mike McCoy’s 5-1 San Diego Chargers. It’s not a game that the Chiefs can afford to lose if they are to remain in touch with the Chargers and Denver Broncos.

The key for the Chiefs will be generating a constant pass rush in an attempt to disrupt Chargers’ quarterback Philip Rivers, and in outside linebacker Justin Houston, the Chiefs have someone who can do just that. Six sacks and 21 total pressures from 118 pass rush snaps gives Houston an impressive +9.4 pass rush grade; while his 14.6 Pass Rushing Productivity score leads all qualifying 3-4 outside linebackers. Houston will have plenty of opportunities to make his mark in this game, as the Chargers’ offensive line has been among the worst in football in 2014. That weakness is most obvious inside where guard Johnnie Troutman and center Rich Ohrnberger, who have respective -6.1 and -6.0 grades in pass protection, face Dontari Poe and Allen Bailey, who have six sacks and 17 total pressures between them.

Unfortunately for the Chiefs, Rivers has been playing at an elite level so far in 2014, despite the inconsistent protection and an unproductive running game. Rivers +14.1 passing grade and 101.51 PFF QB Rating lead all quarterbacks, while his 66.7% Accuracy Under Pressure is eighth-best out of 29 qualifying quarterbacks. Sean Smiths +5.1 coverage grade is eighth-best among all cornerbacks, but opposite him Marcus Coopers -9.5 coverage grade is second-worst. On 36 targets, Copper has allowed 23 receptions for 391 yards and five touchdowns, for a league-worst 2.75 Yards per Cover Snap.

Here are three more notable numbers for each side:

Kansas City Chiefs

James Michael Johnson – Injury has given Johnson an opportunity to impress, and he is doing just that with a 9.1 Run Stop Percentage and is allowing just 0.58 Yards per Cover Snap.

Travis Kelce – Kelce’s 274 yards on just 91 snaps as a receiver gives him 3.01 Yards per Route Run, which leads all starting tight ends.

Rodney Hudson – Hudson has allowed just four QB hurries this season, giving him a 98.4 Pass Bocking Efficiency, seventh-best among qualifying centers.

San Diego Chargers

Branden Oliver – Oliver is making an impact with a team-best 52.9 Elusive Rating, as well as catching all 12 passes thrown his way for a perfect 0.0 Drop Rate.

Brandon Flowers – Flowers leads all corners with a +10.2 coverage grade, +3.0 higher than any other corner, and will be looking forward to facing his former team.

Jason Verrett – Verrett was targeted seven times by the Oakland Raiders, however, he allowed just two receptions for 36 yards, grabbed his first career interception, and batted away another pass. His resulting +3.4 coverage grade led all corners in Week 6.

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| Analyst

Kevin has been an analyst at Pro Football Focus since 2014, with a particular focus on college football.

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