News & Analysis

NFL Week 17 Preview: Chiefs at Broncos

Dec 10, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt (27) jumps over Oakland Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack (52) in the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs visit the Denver Broncos in Week 17 of the 2017 NFL season. PFF previews the top player matchups of the game.

PFFELO Ranking: 8

Coverage by: Mike Guerrelli

Matchup: Kansas City Chiefs offense vs. Denver Broncos defense

RB Kareem Hunt Kansas City Chiefs

PFFELO Ranking: 25

Coverage by: Daniel Cohen

Matchup: Denver Broncos offense vs. Kansas City Chiefs defense

  • WR Demaryius Thomas vs. CB Marcus Peters – Thomas has a tough matchup this week against Peters, who over the past four weeks has allowed a passer rating when targeted of 8.8. He has two interceptions and two passes defensed on 20 targets over that span. Quarterbacks this season have a passer rating of 62.4 when targeting Thomas, which ranks second-to-last among 42 wide receivers with at least 80 targets. They have thrown an astounding nine interceptions when looking for Thomas – most in the league. Whoever is at quarterback for the Broncos on Sunday may want to shy away from this matchup.
  • RB C.J. Anderson vs. LB Derrick Johnson – Anderson has carried the ball 83 times over the past four games, while all other Broncos running backs have combined for 33 carries. In that span, Anderson has forced 13 missed tackles rushing, which is the fifth-highest total among running backs. Johnson’s strong suit is in coverage, as evidenced by the 42.8-point difference between his run-defense grade (43.5) and his coverage grade (86.3). Johnson has missed 14 tackles this season, tied for 11th-most among linebackers. Look for the Broncos to continue to ride Anderson’s hot hand and take advantage of the matchup against a poor run-stopping linebacker.
  • T Donald Stephenson vs. Edge Justin Houston – Stephenson will have his hands full this Sunday against Houston, who rushes from the left side on 89.1 percent of his pass-rush snaps. From the left side, Houston has accumulated 51 total pressures, which is tied for the eighth-most left-side pressures by an edge defender. Stephenson’s pass-blocking grade of 40.0 ranks 76th of 85 qualifying tackles this season, and he has allowed at least five pressures in each of his last two games, including a whopping nine pressures last week. The Broncos would be wise to leave a tight end or a running back blocking on the right side this week to give Stephenson the help he’ll likely need.

T Donald Stephenson Denver Broncos

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