• Travis Kelce is poised for a big day in Andy Reid’s game plan: The Kansas City Chiefs elite target has secured an impressive 84.0 PFF receiving grade this postseason, a nearly 32-point increase on the grading scale over his previous three games.
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Two of the NFL’s premier teams — the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers —are set to face off to crown a champion. Yet, a team is only as strong as its weakest link. While all these players have earned the right to compete at the highest level, not every matchup is equal.
These are the top mismatches to bet in Super Bowl 58
No player has experienced a playoff resurgence quite like Kelce this season. The Chiefs’ elite target has secured an impressive 84.0 PFF receiving grade this postseason, a nearly 32-point increase on the grading scale over his previous three games. Kelce’s talent and versatility paired with Andy Reid’s creativity as a play-caller has allowed the Chiefs to exploit matchups with even the league’s best coverage defenders. In the conference round, the Baltimore Ravens used an array of defenders to slow down Kelce, including All-Pro Kyle Hamilton. To which Kelce answered by catching all 11 of his targets for 116 yards and a score.
While Greenlaw is a quality coverage linebacker (78.2 PFF grade), often tasked with tight end coverage, he can be susceptible to certain packages. In 11 personnel, Greenlaw produced an incredible 86.4 PFF coverage grade, the fifth-highest at the position. Yet, when up against 12 personnel, his grade falls to 42.0, allowing a 116.3 passer rating into his coverage. The Chiefs are particularly suited for those packages, as they’ve run the fourth-highest rate (28.3%) of two tight end sets this season.
Bet to Target: Travis Kelce over 70.5 receiving yards
OT Trent Williams, San Francisco 49ers vs. EDGE Mike Danna, Kansas City Chiefs
With the unfortunate injury to Charles Omenihu early in the AFC title game, the Chiefs will look to Mike Danna for an increased role on the right edge. Unfortunately for Danna, that role comes against a matchup with one of the league’s premier tackles in Trent Williams. The Niners tackle has earned his reputation on the ground, as he’s earned the second-highest PFF run-blocking grade at the tackle position. His running back, Christian McCaffrey, has reaped the benefits of that. On runs in which the point of attack is left, McCaffrey has amassed over 5.6 yards per carry, with 2.2 coming before contact. Comparatively, on the runs attacking the right, his average per carry drops to 4.8, with just 1.3 coming before contact.
Danna, the Chiefs’ most experienced edge defender, may be called upon more than usual in this matchup, which could pose an issue in the run game. The Chiefs edge has produced mixed results fitting the run this postseason but has largely struggled. Across 34 run defense snaps, Danna has earned a 53.8 grade, due in part to accumulating a negative 11.8% graded play rate, compared to just 8.8% of his snaps receiving a positive grade.
Bet to Target: Christian McCaffrey over 90.5 rushing yards
EDGE Nick Bosa, San Francisco 49ers vs. OT Jawaan Taylor, Kansas City Chiefs
The NFL’s 2022 Defensive Player of the Year, Nick Bosa, is slated for a very favorable matchup with Chiefs struggling right tackle Jawaan Taylor. The Niners edge rusher has produced career-high marks in PFF pass-rushing grade (92.6) this season, which he’s parlayed into an incredible postseason. In the playoffs, Bosa has generated a pass-rush win on over 18.7% of his snaps, the highest of his postseason career, while tacking on 15 pressures, including a pair of sacks.
The task of slowing down Bosa falls to Taylor, who has had some trouble finding his footing in pass protection. Taylor owns just a 41.0 overall PFF grade this postseason, ranking 27th out of 28 qualifying tackles. The Chiefs tackle allowed the sixth-most pressures (54) among offensive linemen through the postseason, for a 6.8% pressure rate.