KC-BAL Grades: Conservative play of Smith enough to secure win

The top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Chiefs’ 34-14 win against the Ravens.

| 2 years ago
(AP Photo/Gail Burton)

(AP Photo/Gail Burton)

KC-BAL Grades: Conservative play of Smith enough to secure win

Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Chiefs’ 34-14 win against the Ravens:

Kansas City Chiefs

– Despite being labeled as a very conservative quarterback, Alex Smith (+0.9) has been taking an increasing amount of deep shots in recent weeks. However, that was not the case yesterday, as we saw the old Smith, who took very good care of the football and did not want to risk or force anything downfield. In fact, Smith was the only quarterback this week who played the entire game for his team and did not attempt a single pass 20 or more yards downfield. Nevertheless, Smith was very efficient in the short passing game, as he completed all 17 of his pass attempts less than 10 yards from the line of scrimmage.

– With the injury of Spencer Ware, the Chiefs had to turn to running back Charcandrick West (+0.3) to carry the ball, and while he did not have a spectacular game, he did what they asked of him. Although, West averaged only 1 yard after contact and forced only one missed tackle, occasionally he showed good burst, especially on his 38-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.

– CB Marcus Peters (+0.5) had one of those games when someone looking at the box score could think he was absolutely dominant, possibly the best player on the field. However, while Peters indeed allowed only four receptions on 11 targets and recorded a pass defense and two interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown; the story does not end there. On the four receptions, Peters actually allowed 86 yards, including 46 after the catch, and he also had a missed tackle. In addition, there were multiple times when Peters was far behind his assigned receiver; his not allowing a big reception was only due to the inaccuracy of Baltimore quarterback Jimmy Clausen (-1.4).

Top performers:

OLB Tamba Hali (+2.3)
S Tyvon Branch (+1.9)
DE Jaye Howard (+1.5)
LB Josh Mauga (+1.4)
RT Jah Reid (+1.2)


Baltimore Ravens

– With the inconsistent performance of most pass catchers, Kamar Aiken (+1.6) was the one who stepped up and tried to help quarterback Jimmy Clausen (-1.4) the most. Even though Aiken recorded one of the four dropped passes for the Baltimore offense, it seemed like good things can happen to the Ravens offense only when he is targeted. He made several impressive athletic catches, including the one at the end of the first half, when he caught a 48-yard Hail Mary touchdown pass from Clausen. Aiken caught 8 of his 13 targets for 128 yards and a touchdown, and as a result, Clausen had a passer rating of 120.0 when targeting him.

– Rookie outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith (+1.1) had one of the better games of his young career yesterday. Smith was able to flash ability in rushing the passer by picking up two sacks on 19 pass rush snaps. However, he was actually more impressive against the run than rushing the passer, as he often managed to set the edge and recorded a run stop as well. Although this is not much, Smith was one of the few Baltimore defenders who had a solid game.

– Although Alex Smith (+0.9) did not test the Baltimore pass defense vertically, the Ravens defenders still had problems stopping the Chiefs’ passing game, as they let the receivers turn short passes into longer gains. While Kansas City gained only 176 yards through the air, 111 of those came after the catch, due to some great work from the Chiefs’ receivers and the inability of Baltimore’s defense to make crucial tackles in space. Linebackers C.J. Mosley (-1.6), Zachary Orr (-1.7), and Daryl Smith (-1.7) all struggled as they allowed eight receptions on 10 targets for 80 yards, including 46 after the catch.

Top performers:

LG Ryan Jensen (+3.7)
RG Marshal Yanda (+3.7)
DT Brandon Williams (+2.7)
WR Kamar Aiken (+1.6)
RB Terrance West (+1.3)

  • Kyle Ferguson

    So peters gave up 86 yards on 4 receptions but got beat several times, and a missed tackle. He got 2 int for which one was returned for a TD. What grades did he get for those interceptions and the return TD? Seems like he had a much more positive impact than negative. Given the information his game seemed more like a +2.0 or + 3.0 grade. How far negative were those blown coverages?

    • bossmanham

      Don’t try to make sense of PFF’s grading. It doesn’t make any very often.

    • Brandon

      Exactly what they don’t mention is on that one missed tackle he still got up and went and made the tackle but yet PFF would look at that play as a complete failure of a play for him but it wasn’t.

    • Dollar Flipper

      Well, the TD return was when a receiver slipped. I don’t know if that gets taken into account or not. It’s not like he defended the receiver on that play.

  • crosseyedlemon

    Smith is not trying to play beyond his limits and that fits in with the conservative nature of Andy Reid who stresses fundamentals over taking risks. Only the Panthers have a better turnover ratio than the Chiefs so the attention to ball security is paying off.

    • Brandon

      You can’t lose games when your not turning the ball over and creating turnovers.

      • crosseyedlemon

        I haven’t seen the graphic in a few years but I think teams that win the turnover battle have a win percentage around 65% and the percentage is even higher than that in playoff games.

      • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

        save for that 5 game losing streak. not hating, jussaying.

        • Brandon

          Ya actually had it hard at the beginning. Everyone knows we should of won vs Denver in week 2. We also had the tough task of playing green bay, cincy, and Minnesota on the road when Denver had the privilege of playing those teams at home spread out through the schedule.