Best one-on-one matchups to watch in the Divisional Round

PFF highlights the key one-on-one matchup to watch in every NFL Divisional Round game.

| 4 months ago
Tyron Smith v. Nick Perry

Best one-on-one matchups to watch in the Divisional Round


Ready for more NFL playoff action? Pro Football Focus highlights the key one-on-one matchup to watch in every Divisional Round game.

Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons

Can the Seattle defense contain Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones? In the Falcons’ Week 6 trip to CenturyLink Field, Jones recorded a team-high seven receptions totaling 139 receiving yards and a touchdown. He was targeted in the coverage of Seahawks CB Richard Sherman five times, hauling in three passes for 40 yards — 12 coming after the catch. For more on this matchup, be sure to check out Senior Analyst Sam Monson’s game preview.

Richard Sherman v. Julio Jones

Houston Texans at New England Patriots

In the Texans’ AFC Wild Card win over the Raiders, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney earned the game’s highest grade (86.9), recording four QB hurries, a batted pass, and an interception. On Saturday, he’ll often face off against Patriots LT Nate Solder, who has surrendered just 26 QB pressures this season across 549 pass-blocking snaps. While Tom Brady has been one of the most accurate quarterbacks under pressure this season, continually putting him under duress will be critical for Houston’s chances.

Jadeveon Clowney v. Nate Solder

Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs

While rookie Tyreek Hill has been a splash star for the Chiefs on a per-snap basis this season, tight end Travis Kelce has been the true focal point of the Kansas City offense. Kelce led all TEs in receiving yards and recorded the fourth-most missed tackles at the position (10) this season; he also hauled in all five catchable deep targets sent his way for 157 yards on such throws. Look for Pittsburgh’s linebacker corps to help limit Kelce’s impact on Sunday.

Ryan Shazier v. Travis Kelce

Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys

Despite missing time due to injury this season, Tyron Smith recorded the eighth-best pass-blocking efficiency among offensive tackles, surrendering 20 QB hurries over 436 pass-blocking snaps. In this NFC Divisional Round matchup, he’ll often face off against Packers OLB Nick Perry, who has recorded 46 QB pressures this season. Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott has been pressured on 35.9 percent of his dropbacks this season, the 16th-highest rate in the league — Perry will aim to raise that percentage on Sunday.

Nick Perry v. Tyron Smith

  • Brian Dugan

    It would help if Nick Perry didn’t still have a huge MegaMan cast on his arm.

  • crosseyedlemon

    With only 8 teams left there should be a top matchup when each team is on offense and defense. Something to consider if the feature is run again next season.

  • Backinmd

    I look for Dak, Zag- whatever his name is to choke today vs the Packers … He’s due to have a less than spectacular game against Packers Look for a very intense packers defence — and will get into Dak’s head …

    • crosseyedlemon

      The Packers would love to be able to just tee off on a QB with as little experience as Dak but they are also going to have to contend with the league’s top rusher which will make it tougher for the defense.

      • Backinmd

        Was kinda right the 1st half .. Dallas should have ran Elliot a bit more in the first half ..Cowboys looked a little rusty the first half but Rogers was spectacular .Dak played well enough to win …Great game ..Haven’t seen a more accurate, spectacular QB in decades than Rodgers …Know one could have asked, expected a more exciting game than this …Steelers – KC was as boring as I expected ..