Chiefs Lose To Browns: Inside The Numbers

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.

The good:

Tyson Jackson +1.5

Derrick Johnson +1.7

Brandon Flowers +1.6

Tysen Hartman +1.9

The bad:

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.

The good:

Ryan Lilja +2.9

That’s it. (I know!)

The bad:

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.

Special Teams:

The good:

Dustin Colquitt +1.8

The bad:

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.

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Tags: Kansas City Chiefs

  • chiefridgy

    How come a missed field goal deflates this team to the point where they just give up?

    • Philip Skahan

      because like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz, they got no heart….

      • Patrick Allen


  • Leon Ritz

    Man even when Jackson is playing well he still can’t get any props. His sacks may be considered coverage sacks but he still kept going after the QB and got there. He also is the reason along with Poe that DJ made a big tackle on the goal line stand before the Briwns first FG

    • Patrick Allen

      Actually, looking at Jackson’s PFF grades, he is having a bad season. He has struggled in the run game where he one was solid. It is a prime example of how a handful of plays can make fans think a player is playing well when in actuality, on a snap by snap basis, he is getting beat.

      • Leon Ritz

        I tend to believe my eyes more than PFF grades. I think he is playing well. But then again I think Winston has played like crap and he probably grades out well

  • drakemcvey

    jacksons is just one example of a 1st round dissapointment. hes only got 5 sacks in his career doesnt he? do you have any idea how hard it is in the nfl to start at that position that many games and only have that number of sacks? how about peyton hillis’s triumphant return to cleveland? 11 yards rushing…way to back up that talk peyton.big props to cleveland for treating a spoiled brat like a spoiled brat. and just when i think this team cant get worse they lose dbowe for the rest of the year? wow. i bet clark hunt doesnt even address the state of this team publicly. ever. he just keeps his head down mouth shut cashing checks. DAVID GLASS IS MAKING CLARK HUNT LOOK BAD! think about that!

    • Leon Ritz

      You do understand that stats don’t paint a full picture don’t you. Hillis had 11 yards true but he had only 5 carries. It’s not like he had all the carries in the world and still failed, not to mention the fact that his carries are up the gut runs when the defense knows what’s coming. And Jackson, well you must first understand the job of a DE in a 3-4 D, If you look at the last 4 weeks in which he has been allowed to play 3rd down he has 3 sacks and should have 4 if not for Manning falling forward for a yard. Lets not forget the fact that Jackson missed a lot of the 2010 season with a knee injury and didn’t have a 2011 offseason. Defensive lineman take time in the league to develop, for every J. J. Watt that played well in their first year there are guys like Mario Williams who didn’t play as well their first few years. There are also guys like B.J. Raji who played well in their first year and then regressed after that. I would rather have a guy who continues to improve as opposed to a guy who plays like a beast for one year then goes backwards the next three years.

  • mnu68

    We have some great players but the mentality is so bad in KC that they aren’t performing, more so that the player being changed the attitude in KC needs to change, yeah a QB change is gonna be nice but none of these rookies are superman he needs a team of players that have a winning mentality behind him otherwise it’s gonna be all for not, and I see a team of players that, sometimes shows up but other weeks just goes through the motions.

  • Philip Skahan

    Newsflash….the Baltimore Ravens FIRE their offensive coordinator……for losing TWO GAMES IN A ROW!!!! Ya hear that Clarkiepooh?????? Baltimore is a PLAYOFF Team and won’t tolerate mediocrity…..two games lost….you’re GONE……The Chiefs on the other hand….lose 11 and obviously you are here for the year…..Clarkiepooh…spit out the sliver spoon, grow some ‘nads and do what Daddy would have done several months ago……CLEAN UP THIS MESS!