ReFo: Chiefs @ Cardinals, Week 14
Despite two field goal misses via the posts the Cardinals held on to beat the Chiefs by 3 points. Thomas Maney looks at the significant performances.
ReFo: Chiefs @ Cardinals, Week 14
Kansas City took an eight-point lead into halftime, but failed to captilize in the second half as they were shutout through quarters three and four in a defensive battle in Arizona, turning it over twice before losing 17-14.
With the win, Arizona moved to 10-3, keeping their one game lead in the NFC West, though their final three games are all within the division with two on the road. Conversely the Chiefs fell to 7-6 with their third-straight loss, though they still have a chance in the AFC West with three games to go.
Kansas City Chiefs – Performances of Note
Travis Kelce, TE: -0.9
Breakdown: Active in this game, Kelce led the Kansas City passing game catching 7-of-8 targets for 110 yards to go with some impressive work in the run game. However he also stood out negatively, getting flagged twice on the same drive for false starts, also dropping an easy pass and coughing up the ball after a big catch late in the fourth when in field goal range.
Signature Stat: Only one tight end gained more than Kelce’s 2.56 yards per route run on Sunday, while he also ranks second at the position for the season.
Jaye Howard, DL: +3.0
Breakdown: Played just 30 snaps, but stood out positively with his second game in a row above +2.0 on the back of solid play in run defense with three of his four tackles counting as defensive stops. Also picked up two pressures in 10 snaps rushing the passer, including his play at 10:49 of the second to get past center Lyle Sendlein for the hit.
Signature Play: 1Q, 6:03. Won inside to help bring down the rusher for a loss on 3rd-and-1.
Sean Smith, CB: +3.2
Breakdown: Spending time on both sides of the defense, Smith allowed three catches for 34 yards in six targets (five against Michael Floyd), getting his hand on the ball twice and maintaining close coverage on the third incompletion. Probably should have had an interception at 13:25 of the second, but couldn’t haul in the pass.
Signature Play: 4Q, 11:08. Good break on the ball on third down to get his hand on the ball and force an Arizona punt.
Arizona Cardinals – Performances of Note
Frostee Rucker, DL: +1.3
Breakdown: Despite playing less than 30 total snaps (19 passing plays), Rucker was Arizona’s most impactful pass rusher in this game and did most of his work in the second half, picking up two sacks and three of his four hurries.
Signature Play: 3Q, 11:54. Bull-rushed guard Mike McGlynn seven yards deep in the backfield, shedding him for the sack as Smith tried to climb the pocket.
Drew Stanton, QB: -4.2
Breakdown: A rough game for Stanton, who threw a couple of lasers in the third quarter, including at 10:12, and didn’t look too bad statistically with 239 yards on 15 completions. However, he was otherwise off target for much of the game and got away with several extremely poor throws (e.g. 3Q, 9:21), but was let off the hook by the Kansas City defense. Had particular trouble throwing to the left side of the field, with just one completion in five attempts outside the numbers and a -2.2 grade on those plays.
Signature Play: 3Q, 3:32. As bad as he was for much of the game, can’t fault him on this throw as he hit Jaron Brown for a 26 yard touchdown to put Arizona in front.
Ted Larsen, RG: +3.1
Breakdown: With the switch from left guard to right guard came a drastic swing in performance, as Larsen notched his highest grade of the season and first positive overall grade since Week 1, despite adding his 10th penalty (only one guard has more). Really excelled in the run game to go with a quiet day in pass protection, though he did go back and forth against a solid Chief defensive front, finding an easier time at the second level than at the line of scrimmage.
Signature Play: 4Q, 2:00. Dominating block inside to clear Dontari Poe from the point of attack, putting the NT on the ground in the process.
PFF Game Ball
Though he didn’t get a mention, this one goes to RB Kerwynn Williams who made the most of his 26 snaps, gaining 100 yards on 19 carries (54 after contact) and forcing three missed tackles.
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