While the talk of the town in the AFC West has been defense, Kansas City has found an offensive explosion that is quickly making them the top team in the division. Rookie gadget player Tyreek Hill, and All Pro candidate Travis Kelce have combined for 674 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns in the last four games alone, and 1463 receiving yards through week 14. The dynamite tandem has caught the attention of the NFL and with the weather getting colder, the Chiefs are just warming up.
If the ability of the Dante Hall resembling Tyreek Hill hadn’t spread out past the Midwest already, it has now as a two multi touchdown primetime games have defensive coordinators searching for ways to stop him. A smaller athlete at 5’ 10’’ and 185 lbs, Hill uses excellent acceleration, precise footwork, and blazing 4.24 speed to gain separation and make life hard for defenders in general. Hill became the first rookie since Gale Sayers (1965) to record a kick return touchdown, a receiving touchdown, and a rushing touchdown in a single game. Then he one upped the legend with a multi-touchdown performance Thursday night against the Raiders including this impressive punt return touchdown in the second quarter.
Tyreek Hill : 6 catches, 66 yards, 1 TD & a 78-yard punt return for a TD (5 TD’s in his last 3 games) pic.twitter.com/VEE13jYhOr
— Lee Harvey (@MusikFan4Life) December 9, 2016
While we have seen speed demons throughout the NFL make a name in special teams and taking the top off defenses, Hill presents another skill set in the receiving side of the house. He has great footwork and fluidity in his cuts and creates separation with ease. The best example would be a big 4rd and 10 out route with Pro Bowl Cornerback Chris Harris Jr. to set up a 1st down and a touchdown reception to send the game to overtime. Hill has extremely reliable hands as well, catching 56 of his 68 targets and only one time did he miss more than 2 of his targets (a game where he had 10 catches on 13 targets for 89 yards against Carolina).
With the amount of weapons on this passing offense and a solid rushing attack, Hill can continue to menace defenses without the sole attention being on him. Coupled with the NFL’s top scoring defense, the Chiefs are in prime position to take the AFC by storm.
In terms of offensive weapons, Kelce’s 2016 success is no surprise to the NFL as he amassed 875yards and five touchdowns in 2015. 2016 has been rough for Kelce as he struggled early with only 276 yards and 2 scores in his first six games. The season took a turn for the better against Indianapolis with his first 100+ yard performance sparking a 7 game streak consisting of 640 yards and four straight 100+ yard games, making him the third TE in NFL history to do so. Kelce strengths are his size and speed combination that make him a hassle for both linebackers and secondary players. With Rob Gronkoswki out on IR, the first team All Pro slot is Kelce’s to lose as he leads all tight ends in receiving yards by a healthy margin (yes he has played an extra game I know, I know.), though to solidify the spot it would require more points scored for the big man. Nonetheless Kelce is the biggest blimp on a defensive radar but with the speed on the outside and playmaking ability of Tyreek Hill, it’s a pick your poison situation that teams have yet to figure out.
Kansas City heads home to Arrowhead to take on Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans before two straight division games to set them up for the playoffs. Expect heavily reliance on the TNT duo to produce offensively and win games.