News & Analysis

NFL Week 9 Preview: Chiefs at Cowboys

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 17: Running back Kareem Hunt #27 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Arrowhead Stadium on September 17, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

The Kansas City Chiefs visit the Dallas Cowboys in Week 9 of the 2017 NFL season. PFF previews the top player matchups of the game.

PFFELO Ranking: 2

Coverage by: Mike Guerrelli

Matchup: Kansas City Chiefs offense vs. Dallas Cowboys defense

  • RB Kareem Hunt vs. LB Sean Lee – Hunt has been a problem for defenses in the running game and the passing game, as he's PFF's top ranked running back with a 91.4 overall grade. His 88.9 rushing grade is second among backs, and his 88.0 receiving grade ranks fourth. Hunt is second in PFF elusive rating (a runner's success beyond being helped by his blockers), and leads all backs with 54 missed tackles forced this year. Lee is ranked ninth at linebacker with an 84.1 overall PFF grade. He's fifth in run-stop percentage with 13 run stops in 98 snaps against the run. In coverage Lee has been solid, allowing 20 receptions in 27 targets for 130 yards.

Kareem Hunt, running back, Kansas City Chiefs

  • T Mitchell Schwartz vs. Edge DeMarcus Lawrence – Schwartz seems to be matched up against one of the best edge defenders in the NFL every week. He has allowed three sacks and 18 total pressures in 298 pass-block snaps this season, and is the 23rd ranked tackle in PFF pass-blocking efficiency. Lawrence has an 88.3 overall grade and is the ninth ranked edge defender this year. He is second with 11 sacks through Week 8, and sixth in PFF pass-rushing productivity among edge defenders. Lawrence hasn't been as successful against the run, as he ranks 81st of 101 edge defenders in run-stop percentage.
  • WR Tyreek Hill vs. CB Anthony Brown – Hill is a matchup problem for every team, being one of the fastest players in the NFL. He has the sixth highest passer rating when targeted this season at 121.9. Hill will stretch the field, as he's been targeted 11 times on deep passes (targets 20 or more yards downfield), and caught five of them including three touchdowns. Brown ranks 69th at cornerback this year with a 71.7 overall PFF grade. He's been targeted 39 times in coverage and allowed 24 catches for 266 yards. Brown's four touchdowns allowed are the fifth most at cornerback through Week 8.

PFFELO Ranking: 6

Coverage by: Aaron Jones

Matchup: Dallas Cowboys offense vs. Kansas City Chiefs defense

  • T La'el Collins vs. Edge Justin Houston – Through eight weeks of NFL action, La’el Collins has struggled in the switch to right tackle. He’s allowed 24 total pressures, tied for the ninth most among 73 qualifying offensive tackles. Last week Collins allowed four total pressures (two sacks), tying for sixth most among 53 qualifying offensive tackles. His pass-blocking efficiency (measures pressure allowed on a per-snap basis with weighting toward sacks allowed) of 92.3 this season ranks 62nd among 73 qualifying offensive tackles. Houston is having an excellent season, currently grading as the 13th (out of 108) highest edge defender in the league with an overall grade of 85.2. He’s been formidable against the run, with his 87.2 run-defense grade the eighth highest among edge defenders.
  • WR Dez Bryant vs. CBs Marcus Peters – After a slow start to the year, Dez Bryant has gotten his season back on track. Bryant currently ranks 13th among 109 qualifying wide receivers with an overall grade of 81.8. Unfortunately, he continues to have issues with drops, recording another one in Week 8, bringing his total to five on the year. Only three wide receivers have recorded more drops this season. Bryant’s toughest matchup in the secondary, Marcus Peters, currently ranks 16th among 114 qualifying cornerbacks with an overall grade of 84.3. While Peter’s three interceptions is currently tied for the most in the league, he has also allowed three touchdowns in coverage. Prescott will have to pick his moments when Peters is in coverage.
  • QB Dak Prescott vs. Kansas City Defense – The 13th highest graded quarterback in the league has a tough matchup looming. Expect to see a lot put on Prescott’s shoulders… and legs. Prescott ranks second among quarterbacks with a run grade of 86.2. He’s had 168 yards on 23 attempts (7.3 average) and three touchdowns. A few more read-options or designed quarterback runs may be in store Sunday.

Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys, quarterback

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