Pro Football Focus Week 3 Grades Leave Chiefs With Question Marks And Some Answers
By Ben Nielsen
Sep 21, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Knile Davis (34) is tackled by Miami Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes (21) during the second half at Sun Life Stadium. Chiefs won 34-15. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Pro Football Focus is an excellent tool to get an independent review of each player in a simple format. The grades are by no means perfect – we’ll get into that in a minute – but they do highlight things we maybe didn’t see because our individual biases prevented it.
Is PFF gospel? No. It is a tool, a resource. So let’s take a look at how that resources graded out the Chiefs.
(Note: You can get all of the PFF grades by subscribing to their service at ProFootballFocus.com.)
KNILE DAVIS AWFUL GRADE
PFF gave Davis a -7.2 grade for his performance on Sunday, including a -3.2 rushing grade due to his two fumbles (one lost). PFF also credited two sacks and a quarterback hurry against Davis.
Traditional stats gave Davis an excellent grade, rushing for 132 yards and a touchdown in Sunday’s win. And by the eye test, it is hard to think the Chiefs would have been remotely close to winning that game if Davis hadn’t performed well.
Also, PFF gave the team as a whole a cumulative -1 run blocking grade and the offensive line a -8 run blocking grade. The problem is the offensive line’s poor performance does not calculate into Davis’ rushing grade, instead grading his performance in a vacuum. The result, added with the two fumbles, was an awful grade.
I understanding the reasoning behind why PFF would give such a low grade to Davis but I don’t think it accurately reflected his value in the game. He indeed fumbled twice, was not good as a pass protector, and did not contribute anything as a receiver. Yet his 132 yards on the ground and his touchdown run were crucial to the Chiefs winning this game.
Giving equal weight to his rushing performance and pass blocking performance seems like a misappropriation of value. It is like giving equal weight to a defensive lineman for his pass coverage and his pass rushing ability. Davis isn’t out there to pass block, he’s out there to run the football. No, we shouldn’t abandon the value of his pass blocking but we shouldn’t give in more weight that the purpose for him being on the field.