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Go here for this week's Rushing Matchups.
Top Passing Matchup
Kansas City vs San Francisco
Kansas City's passing game this playoffs seems to have stopped trying to find another level and has focused on refining their passing game through consolidation of targets. Throughout the regular season, this offense tried to get another wide receiver to step up amongst Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Kadarius Toney, Justin Watson, and Richie James. Throughout the playoffs, 61% of the receptions were by Travis Kelce and Rashee Rice. Kelce has been tremendous throughout the postseason. Despite having a poor regular season compared to his standards, Kelce is averaging 87.3 yards per game and has three touchdowns in the team's three playoff games. Rashee Rice has been tremendous for the Chiefs as the rookie is averaging 82 yards per game over his last nine games, which leads the team. The Chiefs may get Skyy Moore back this week. The 2022 second-round pick had a disappointing 2023 season, but from a talent perspective, he's an upgrade over players like Richie James and Justin Watson. The key for the Chiefs will be whether their offensive line can hold up against the defensive line of the 49ers. The Chiefs lost All-Pro Joe Thuney to a pectoral injury, which moves backup center Nick Allegretti to guard.
San Francisco's pass defense has been amongst the league's best this season, even though the regular season passing yards allowed do not fully indicate that. Through Week 17, the 49ers allowed a very average 237 passing yards per game (18th in the NFL), but this was largely skewed by blowout game scripts and garbage time production from opposing teams throwing the ball while facing a significant deficit. Despite the yardage totals, the 49ers allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, which was primarily set by the fewest passing touchdowns allowed in the NFL this year at just 1.1 per game. The one issue for the 49ers is that despite all of the star power on their defensive line led by Nick Bosa, Javon Hargrave, Arik Armstead, and Chase Young, their sack numbers should be better than what they are. The 49ers were tied for 8th in sacks this season with 2.8 per game, and in the playoffs, are averaging just 1.0 sacks per game. In the secondary, Charvarius Ward has developed into one of the league's best cornerbacks and was recognized with a Second-Team All-Pro award, while Deommodore Lenoir is a very reliable slot cornerback. One thing to watch is Ambry Thomas, who was a very solid cornerback throughout the regular season after a disappointing 2022. However, he had surgery about a month ago on a broken hand. Throughout the playoffs, he just does not appear to have the confidence he had in the regular season and has been a liability in their two playoff games so far.
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