Kansas City Chiefs difference makers: The thrill ride

We got to see tons of talent on display this season, let’s take a look at who made the biggest impact for the Kansas City Chiefs as we get hyped for the playoff game in two weeks!

Boy, what a season right? From barely eking it out too many times for my heart to handle, to thrashing whomever dared to step in front of us on the playing field, this season for the Kansas City Chiefs has been one heck of a thrill ride.  This list is not super in-depth or numbers heavy, but is packed to the ceiling with talent!

Let’s start with our good old boy under center, Alex Smith. This man worked his butt off with what he was given in terms of play calling. The gripes with Andy Reid and his hot and cold play choices come into play here. Smith tried his best when he was not given very much on his plays. It was visible in the last quarter of the season, things turned a corner with the play calling and Alex was able to get out of his own way. He does his best in an offense where he throws the ball as fast as possible and does not think about it.

Nov 27, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) runs the ball in the first quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 27, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) runs the ball in the first quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs have serious speed…

Tyreek Hill. The untouchable speedster has been such a boon to this offense. When his name lit up on the draft boards, there were many in Chiefs Kingdom who, rightfully so, were upset given Hill’s past with domestic violence. Tyreek has expressed his regret and wish to change. He sought the help that he needed to meet that goal and it has not come back to haunt him.

His on-field production seems to show that nothing holds him back from his goals. Hill finished with a truly impressive set of stats including 61 catches for 593 yards and six touchdowns.

Hill also rushed the ball 24 times for 267 yards and three touchdowns. But he is not done yet! In punt returns, Hill averaged 15.2 yards per return. His longest being a 95-yard game-breaker that went for a touchdown. He had a total of two punts returned for scores. There’s still more! This man averaged 27.4 yards per kick return and even had one taken to the house!

I will never forget the second time we faced the Broncos, and Tyreek Hill on the jet sweep just blew right through the waiting arms of Von Miller. Poor Miller could hardly process what had happened before Hill seemingly teleported into the end zone. Between Jarrod Dyson and Hill, KC knows what speed do!

Oct 11, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters (22) celebrates after breaking up a pass during the first half against the Chicago Bears at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 11, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters (22) celebrates after breaking up a pass during the first half against the Chicago Bears at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Now on defense…

This defense really showed what it was made of and earned every dollar that it’s worth… minus Phillip Gaines.

Derrick Johnson was as dependable as ever, leading the defense with 90 total tackles. Eric Berry showed up strong with a total of 77 tackles (hold up, I have to ask, is this guy a linebacker or safety? He is inhuman and unbeatable, just ask cancer.) and four interceptions, half of those went for scores.

Marcus Peters. It is so satisfying to have a brutal, lockdown star corner. When his name started being floated around the mid and late season mock drafts, I smiled with glee over the combination of Sean Smith and Marcus Peters. When Smith left in free agency, I was worried it would not play out very well for us. Sean Smith who?

Peters made us all forget Smith ever was a Chief overnight! His impact is felt nearly every single game and when he was missing in the Buccaneers game, it was also felt. Peters ended a very wonderful season with six interceptions, 20 passes defended, and 45 total tackles. I am glad this man suits up in the red and gold.

The surprise addition to the list!

Here’s one I never ever thought I would be praising: Dee Ford. I remember that draft day. I was in the car on my way home from work, streaming the Draft on my phone. The Chiefs’ pick came up and I said “Sorry who?” One of my closest friends set me a text saying, “Who is Dee Ford?”. The pick made sense as there was talk of Justin Houston being gone soon, and Tamba Hali is only getting older. In his first few days with the team, I was not sure Dee Ford would pan out. He looked like a bust. The Kansas City Chiefs were forced to rely on him for much of this season. He made us all eat our words.

Dee Ford at one point was leading the NFL in sacks. The whole stinking National Football League! If you had told me when he was drafted that he would seem to be a bust, then show up big to finish this season with 10 sacks, leading the NFL at one point, and 38 tackles.

Before moving on to the D-Line, let’s mention Terrance Mitchell briefly. We brought him in to replace Phillip Gaines when the latter decided to be the weakest link. Mitchell filled in quite nicely and so much better than Gaines. If you ask me, Mitchell owns that roster spot now.

Nov 27, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Rakeem Nunez-Roches (99) in the fourth quarter against the Denver Broncosat Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 27, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Rakeem Nunez-Roches (99) in the fourth quarter against the Denver Broncosat Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Next man up, find your new starters.

Now for the D-Line. When injuries struck again, the next man up really stepped up. Chris Jones, a rookie this season, showed up big time. Jones is going to become a defensive cornerstone for years to come. Move over Jaye Howard, it’s the Jones show now! Rakeem Nunez-Roches came up big, finding some hidden talent that we are all happy he discovered. My second favorite moment that the defensive line produced was when Chris Jones blasted by the Panthers’ offensive line, sacked Cam Newton, then gave the hand signal for “wait, wait, wait….” then he dabbed. Oh what a glorious dab.

My favorite D-Line moment was watching Dontari Poe line up against the Broncos, take the snap, rumble forward a few steps then take the jump shot for the score. The Bloated Tebow was a work of art. It felt so good to run up the score on Denver. Rub the salt in their wounds. The most satisfying trick play I have ever witnessed.

Big Red, the mastermind.

To wrap up, let us give a round of applause to Big Red. There are a few gripes with Andy Reid, his back and forth play calling is the biggest now. What cannot be discounted however, is in the tail end of this season when we needed the good offense the most, he delivered. Andy Reid also set himself among elite company, passing up Bill Parcells for 10th most wins among head coaches all time. Mark my words, if Andy Reid is to win a Superbowl and bring home that ring he deserves, it will be with the Chiefs.

The hype for this playoff game is real! Second seed in the lineup, top of the AFC West. What a time to be alive, Chiefs Kingdom. Let’s take this bye week to rest our nerves, recharge our voices, and be ready to come out loud and proud for our team when they take the field again. What were your favorite moments this season? Tweet at me. I want to know what you think! Thanks for reading, stay loud, and Go Chiefs!

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