Each week, the PFF analysis team will bring you break downs of the most important matchups for each game of the NFL season.
Coverage by: Daniel Cohen
Matchup: Denver Broncos offense vs. Buffalo Bills defense
- Broncos tight ends vs. S Micah Hyde – Virgil Green, A.J. Derby and Jeff Heuerman have had a strong start to 2017, all earning grades of over 70 and grading in the top half of all tight ends. The trio has combined for eight receptions and 124 yards through two games. Hyde has had a solid first two games as well, recording an interception and allowing a passer rating of just 56.9. He’s been targeted six times on the year and will see if he can contain the three productive tight ends.
- WR Demaryius Thomas vs. CB Tre’Davious White – White comes in as the 12th-highest graded cornerback this season, having earned a grade of 83.7 through two games. Thomas, with his 80.8 grade, ranks ninth among wide receivers. Thomas is averaging 2.06 yards per route run, the seventh highest mark in the league, while White ranks 32nd in yards allowed per coverage snap with a mark of 1.00 yards. After going up against Los Angeles Chargers CB Casey Hayward and Dallas Cowboys CB Anthony Brown the first two weeks, Thomas has another tough matchup this week against an impressive rookie.
- T Allen Barbre vs. EDGE Jerry Hughes – Barbre might have to step in this week to start at left tackle, if rookie T Garett Bolles is unable to go. In 44 pass-blocking snaps this season, Barbre has allowed three hurries, and is middle of the pack in terms of pass-blocking efficiency. He’ll need to hold off Hughes, who exclusively pass-rushes from the right side and has eight total pressures through the first two games, seventh most among 4-3 defensive ends.
Coverage by: Elliott Rooney
Matchup: Buffalo Bills offense vs. Denver Broncos defense
- T Cordy Glenn vs. EDGE Shaquil Barrett – Bills tackle Cordy Glenn has seriously struggled in run blocking through two weeks of the NFL season. His run-blocking grade of 34.8 is the ninth lowest by a tackle so far this season. He will come up against one of the best run defenders on Sunday, as Barrett has a run defense grade 89.8 so far which is the second highest among edge defenders. Last week against the Dallas Cowboys, Barrett dominated in the run game, collecting four stops on his 10 run snaps for a run stop percentage of 40 percent (a run stop is a tackle made in run defense that results in a “win” for the defense).
- WR Zay Jones vs. CB Aqib Talib – So far this season rookie receiver Zay Jones has struggled to make an impression, he has an overall PFF grade of 49.1 which ranks 77th among receivers. He has only been targeted seven times through two games and QB Tyrod Taylor has only achieved a passer rating of 61.0 when targeting Jones. Talib grades as the second best cornerback in the NFL after two weeks with an overall grade of 86.5. When targeted he has only given up a passer rating of 69.4 which ranks 29th among 104 cornerbacks this season.
- WR Jordan Matthews vs. CB Chris Harris Jr – Over his first three seasons in the league Matthews has been one of the best slot receivers in the NFL, but so far this season Matthews has struggled to get open while in the slot. He has only been targeted twice on his 23 routes run from the slot (8.7 percent). Harris continues to be one of the best slot corners in the game, through two games he has been targeted four times and only allowed one reception in the slot and surrendering a passer rating of just 39.6 joint second lowest in the NFL.