The Kansas City Chiefs suffered another blowout loss Sunday, this time to the Cleveland Browns.
While the Browns are clearly a young and improving football team, they aren’t a team that blows a lot of teams out. In both its wins and losses, the Browns have kept the score close.
Well, except for when they played the Chiefs.
It speaks to just what a mess KC is that they couldn’t keep the game close against a team that almost always keeps the game close.
But who really played well and who struggled on Sunday? Let’s go inside the numbers with Pro Football Focus and determine just who is and isn’t responsible for this latest disaster.
The defense, as a whole, received an overall grade of -4.7 for yesterday’s performance. There were a few standout performances, mixed in with some terrible efforts.
Tyson Jackson +1.5
Derrick Johnson +1.7
Brandon Flowers +1.6
Tysen Hartman +1.9
Dontari Poe -2.8
Ropati Pitoitua -1.3
Justin Houston -1.7
Brandon Siler -3.6
The Chiefs really struggled in run defense in this one. Their front seven was no match for the Cleveland offensive line and it showed. Even players not listed, who had average games according to their overall grade, had some issues. Tamba Hali received a -1.8 run defense grade but balanced his marks out thanks to his pass rush.
The Chiefs D missed eight tackles yesterday.
The pass rush notched three sacks but only two hurries.
Justin Houston struggled in both run and pass defense. Grade-wise, yesterday was his worst game of the season.
Dontari Poe, despite having his praises sung on the broadcast, struggled as well with a -1.4 run defense grade and a -1.6 pass rush.
With the death of Jovan Belcher, the Chiefs are left with a big hole at ILB that they will have to fill this offseason, either via free agency or the draft. Brandon Siler is clearly not ready for prime time. He was the worst defender of the day grade-wise. The Chiefs may want to give Cory Greenwood, who only played nine snaps in relief of Siler, an audition before the end of the season.
Javier Arenas was the goat in coverage. He was targeted four times, allowing four receptions for 51 yards.
Brandon Flowers was super. He was targeted four times, allowing only two receptions for 22 yards.
The offense, as you can expect, was putrid. The unit received a grade of -3.6 for the game, though it surely would have been lower if they had managed to stay on the field long enough to screw up some more.
Ryan Lilja +2.9
That’s it. (I know!)
Jon Asamoah -3.1
Tony Moeaki -1.6
Brady Quinn -1.4
The reason Jamaal Charles isn’t listed under the “good” category is because he got nailed, grade-wise, for his dropped pass. It offset what he did well on the ground.
Well, remember how PFF grades. You only get positive marks if you go above and beyond what you should have. For instance, if the offensive line blows open a huge hole and Charles runs right through it for a score, untouched, he isn’t likely to see a high grade for that play because he did exactly what he was supposed to do. He’d receive a 0.0 grade. Most players, on most plays, receive the average 0.0. That is what makes the PFF grading system so cool. It is very effective at measuring if a player is consistently good or consistently bad. So when Tyson Jackson gets stonewalled by his man and gets nowhere near the QB and then the QB runs around the pocket and straight into Jackson, Jackson probably won’t get a positive mark. Sure, you may remember the sack and think it means Jackson is improving his pass rush but in reality, he still isn’t bearing his man to get to the QB. In fact, most of Jackson’s sacks this season can be credited to the secondary.
In this game, Charles received a +0.5 grade overall and a +1.6 grade in the running game but his work in the passing game cost him -1.2. His drop and probably a missed block or two in pass protection leveled out his grade.
Ryan Lilja continue his excellent season. His run blocking has been particularly impressive. Remember, Lilja is playing out of position at center. He has done so well the Chiefs may want to consider keeping him there.
Baldwin was targeted twice. He didn’t catch any balls and one of the throws to him was terrible and was picked off.
Terry Copper was KC’s best receiver after Dwayne Bowe went down. He caught all three of his targets for 32 yards.
Dustin Colquitt +1.8
Ruan Succop -1.4
Colquitt dropped four of his seven punts inside the 20.
Succop has been great this season but he missed a gimme, killing the Chiefs’ momentum.