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NFL Divisional Round: Strengths and weaknesses for each team | NFL News, Rankings and Statistics

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• Chiefs’ strength lies in Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce: The veteran tight end generated a 118.7 passer rating over the regular season, fifth among the many 36 players who saw no less than 100 targets.

• The Eagles struggle against the run: The Philadelphia defense ranked just twenty third within the league in stopping runs of 10 or more yards in the course of the regular season.

• It’s déjà vu for the Cincinnati Bengals: Entering the divisional round, the highest-graded Bengals offensive lineman is center Ted Karras at 63.6. Not one of the other 4 expected starters has a PFF grade over 52.0.

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

The divisional round of the 2022 NFL playoffs is finally upon us, and while every team will wish to be crowned champions, just one will find a way to hoist the Lombardi Trophy.

Each squad has its own strengths and weaknesses. In a yr with upsets aplenty and unexpected storylines throughout, there isn’t a guarantee that any of the highest teams will make it to the top. The Chiefs and Bills have weaknesses in the identical way the Giants and Jaguars do. And if an opponent can find ways to take advantage of those weaknesses, we could find ourselves with a bevy of improbable upsets.

Listed here are the strengths and weaknesses of each team within the divisional round.

Kansas City Chiefs

Strength: Patrick Mahomes-Travis Kelce connection

There isn’t any have to overcomplicate this one: the Chiefs will all the time have a probability to hoist the Lombardi so long as quarterback Patrick Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce are there.

Though Mahomes lost multiple weapons last offseason — most notably wide receiver Tyreek Hill — Kelce’s continued presence led to a season that may probably end with Mahomes taking home the MVP Award for the second time.

The veteran tight end generated a 118.7 passer rating over the regular season, fifth among the many 36 players who saw no less than 100 targets. And after a down yr in 2021, he was back to being the highest-graded tight end within the NFL at 91.1.

Highest passer rankings when targeted: All players with no less than 100 targets over the 2022 regular season
NameTGTRECREC YDSREC TDPasser rating
Stefon Diggs1491081,42911124.3
Jaylen Waddle114751,3568122.6
Tee Higgins104741,0297121.0
A.J. Brown137881,49611118.8
Travis Kelce1501101,33812118.7
Weakness: Pressure off the sting

Chris Jones‘ dominance has been well documented — he tied with Dexter Lawrence for the best PFF grade at his position, and his 92.2 pass-rush grade ranked third amongst all defenders.

Nonetheless, Jones’ outstanding performance covered up Kansas City’s inability to rush the passer from the sting. No Chiefs edge defender ranked in the highest 50 in pass-rushing grade — Michael Danna actually led the group with a 67.5 pass-rush, 53rd amongst edge defenders — and Kansas City edge defenders combined to select up pressure on just 19.7% of plays, twenty first within the NFL and seventh among the many eight teams playing within the divisional round.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Strength: Short passes

The Jaguars have utilized the short, quick passing game with great efficiency this season, ending second within the NFL in expected points added (EPA) per pass play on throws that traveled between 1 and 9 yards down the sector.

On these passes, quarterback Trevor Lawrence posted an 86.6% adjusted completion rate, second within the NFL. He threw only one interception on these throws for a 109.5 passer rating. These throws are also more a results of quick decisions than late checkdown passes, as Lawrence’s average time to throw of two.51 seconds was the third-quickest mark amongst starters over the regular season.

Weakness: Reliability on the receiver position

The wide receivers played a key role in Jacksonville’s historic comeback win against the Los Angeles Chargers within the wild-card round, as they caught all 20 of their catchable targets in the course of the contest.

Nonetheless, they have not all the time been that reliable. Wide receivers Christian Kirk and Zay Jones dropped eight passes each over the regular season, which tied for the third-most within the NFL. On top of that, Marvin Jones Jr. dropped six of his 52 catchable targets, leading to a drop percentage of 11.5%, the worst rate among the many 124 wide receivers who saw no less than 50 targets over the season.

The Jaguars are only considered one of two teams with three wide receivers in the underside 30 in drop percentage. Overall, Jacksonville’s wide receivers dropped 9.5% of catchable targets, by far the worst rate within the NFL.

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Philadelphia Eagles

Strength: Offensive line

This Eagles team has many strengths, but no unit is more dominant than its offensive line. With the return of right tackle Lane Johnson, there are not any real weak links, they usually rightfully finished the 2022 regular season because the No. 1 team on PFF’s final 2022 offensive line rankings.

Second-year left guard Landon Dickerson has the bottom grade amongst this group at 67.3, but even that ranks twenty third out of 78 qualifying guards within the NFL.

The unit allowed pressure on 18.9% of pass-blocking snaps over the regular season, second within the NFL, while they gave up just 11 sacks, the fewest within the league.

As well as, the Eagles’ average of 1.8 yards before contact per rush attempt ranked fifth within the NFL, partially because of the quarterback-run-heavy scheme, however the offensive line must also get credit.

Weakness: Run defense

It is just not easy to seek out a weakness on this Philadelphia Eagles team. Nonetheless, one thing that has been highlighted — but not necessarily tested, provided that the team often leads — is their run defense.

The Eagles have generally struggled to stop big runs up the center, which is why they acquired veteran interior defenders Ndamukong Suh and Linval Joseph in the course of the season. But even with those additions and the return of rookie interior defender Jordan Davis, the Eagles ranked just twenty third within the league in stopping runs of 10 or more yards in the course of the regular season.

Latest York Giants

Strength: Interior defensive position

Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence form arguably the very best interior pass-rushing duo within the NFL. The 2 have been unstoppable this yr.

Lawrence has been receiving a lot of the highlight, and rightly so. While he did not record a sack against the Minnesota Vikings within the wild-card round, he got close on multiple occasions, and his five quarterback hits were probably the most by an interior defender in a playoff game over the past seven seasons.

And that performance wasn’t an anomaly, as he led all interior defenders in PFF grade in the course of the regular season. Only Kansas City’s Chris Jones produced more quarterback pressures than Lawrence’s 63.

After which there’s Williams, whose 77.0 grade ranked 14th on the position, making the Giants the one team to feature two top-15 interior defenders.

So much has been product of Lawrence’s eight total pressures against the Vikings, but Williams also picked up seven pressures, tied for the fifth most by an interior defender in a playoff game over the past seven seasons.

Weakness: Linebackers

It’s telling that neither of Latest York’s starting linebackers was on the team at first of the season. Jaylon Smith was signed off the road in late September, while Jarrad Davis was signed lower than a month ago from the Detroit Lions practice squad and got the beginning over rookie Micah McFadden against the Vikings last weekend.

Over the regular season, McFadden ranked 79th out of 84 qualifying linebackers in PFF grade, while Smith ranked 62nd. Davis’ grade could be good for fiftieth had he played enough snaps.

The shortage of quality depth on the position has contributed to the Giants’ struggles against explosive runs — Latest York allowed a run of greater than 10 yards on 18.2% of the run plays it faced in the course of the regular season, the worst mark within the NFL.

Click here for the very best bets for the Giants-Eagles divisional-round game

Latest customers who bet $10 with BetMGM will receive a FREE PFF+ subscription*

Buffalo Bills

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