By: Jack Johnson
There’s no sugarcoating it. The Kansas City Chiefs played their worst game of the season on Sunday Night Football against the Bills. The eye test could tell you that story. However, at closer inspection, here are three Pro Football Focus grades that dive deeper into the Chiefs’ performance.
This was the lowest PFF grade of any Chiefs player that took the field last night. The recipient of this score? Daniel Sorensen. On two separate plays last night, Sorensen had his teammate, Tyrann Mathieu, putting his arms in the air in disbelief. Both Stefon Diggs and Dawson Knox got behind Sorensen in coverage — resulting in a total of 114 yards on two plays.
The 31-year-old safety still played 100% of the snaps in the 38-20 loss. Juan Thornhill, who has seen limited action this season, played 44% of the snaps.
What if I told you the highest graded cornerback for Kansas City last night was Rashad Fenton? What if I went one step further and said Fenton was the highest graded Chiefs cornerback this season? Well, both are true.
Fenton was tested a handful of times in coverage against Diggs and managed to hold his own. Aside from his 61-yard reception in busted coverage, Diggs only had one more catch for eight yards. For the most part, Fenton kept him quiet.
The third-year defensive back out of South Carolina has a season coverage grade of 74.6 and tackling grade of 81.1 — both above average.
Without Chris Jones on the defensive line, Kansas City’s front seven is going to be at a disadvantage regardless of opponent. However, if you took the grades of Alex Okafor, Frank Clark and Jarran Reed last night, the average score would come out to 48.2 — well-below average.
In all honesty, this has been the Chiefs’ biggest issue on that side of the ball. When you can’t generate pressure on an NFL quarterback, they’re going to have a field day. It doesn’t matter if you’re Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield, Justin Herbert or Jalen Hurts. Having time to go through all your reads is a luxury not many quarterbacks have. In last night’s game, Clark led the team with five total pressures. However, no other member of the defense had more than one pressure. Nick Botlon was the only Chief to corral Allen.
Through five games, the defense doesn’t have an identity. If it’s going to improve, they’ll have to pick one thing and excel at it. That can be defending the run, pass or creating turnovers. Two of those can be improved with pressure up front, which is non-existent right now.