The Kansas City Chiefs bye week is complete and the Arrowhead faithful are ready for some football once again — but first.
With a week of practice still to come before KC laces them up against the Denver Broncos in Week 13, I thought we could recap the 2021 season’s best and brightest Chiefs according to the famous grading site, Pro Football Focus.
This year has come with its ups and downs but these five players have performed at a high level all throughout. Hats off to them as they try and continue that down the stretch.
ALL the latest Chiefs news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Chiefs newsletter here!
3 Familiar Faces Round out Top 5
As usual, Kelce has been one of the more dominant tight ends in football in 2021. He currently ranks fifth on PFF this season for receiving and dual-purpose TEs, but sixth if you count blocking tight end Eric Tomlinson.
In terms of receiving yardage though, the Chiefs star ranks first in the NFL with 821 yards off 67 receptions. He also has five receiving touchdowns and one rushing score.
While Kelce is known for his prowess as a pass-catcher, his pass protection marks have been pretty solid as well (76.9). His worst area has been his run-blocking, at a 64.3, and his best game according to PFF was Week 2 against the Baltimore Ravens (91.4).
Jones missed two games with a wrist injury and his absence was notable — especially against Buffalo in Week 5. He finally seems healthy at this point in the season and the game-wrecker has really turned it up a notch the past few weeks.
The defensive lineman has not registered a grade below 80.0 since Week 8, and his top score in 2021 was Week 10 against the Las Vegas Raiders (90.3).
On the season, his 82.0 overall grade is made up of an 84.9 in pass rush, 68.4 in run defense, 57.3 tackling and a 52.8 coverage score in limited snaps. He has 41 quarterback pressures on the year with 6.5 sacks and 12 defensive stops.
The Cheetah has entered the top three with a top 10 wide receiver grade for the entire NFL. Hill ranks seventh at his position on PFF but like Kelce, he’s higher in yardage with 932 after 11 games (ranks fifth).
Hill has switched up his game this season, with more total receptions than ever before and less of an emphasis on deep passing. Like Patrick Mahomes, he’s had to learn to take what the defense gives him, and he’s done a nice job in this regard with a stellar pass-game score of 84.9.
The dynamic playmaker is also just as much a threat as ever as a runner, with a 71.8 rushing grade and 94 yards (four first downs). Hill also has a decent run-blocking grade of 68.5 and his top performance according to the grading site this season was Week 4 against the Philadelphia Eagles (93.1).
Follow the Heavy on Chiefs Facebook page, where you can weigh in on all the latest KC-related daily content, analysis, features and more!
Unsung Heroes Lead the Way
One of the best breakout stories in Kansas City this season has been Fenton, the third-year cornerback out of South Carolina. PFF has awarded him an 86.5 in coverage so far, with an 89.0 tackling score and a 76.9 on run defense.
He’s currently the second-best graded cornerback in the NFL behind Stephon Gilmore — who has only played five games. Fenton has allowed 19 receptions off 29 targets in 2021, for a total of just 153 receiving yards. He has also registered eight defensive stops.
The Chiefs CB earned his top grade of the season against the Raiders in Week 10 (88.4).
We’ve talked about the stud rookie center in the past and there’s a reason why Creed is king in Kansas City right now. The Oklahoma product has been downright nasty in the run game this year with an elite grade of 92.7.
His pass protection has also been excellent for a first-year starter, with a 75.7 and only one sack allowed off nine total pressures. When you play like this, the fans will love you in a hurry, and Humphrey already has song parodies that have been written in his honor.
The rookie is still the number one ranked NFL center on PFF and his best-graded outing was Week 8 against the New York Giants (94.2).