Chiefs’ speed makes them lethal in passing game
Patrick Mahomes is great. Surround him with the fastest weapons in football, and the Kansas City Chiefs have the formula for a historic offense.
On Wednesday, tight end Travis Kelce spoke to the media after practice. In his answers, the All-Pro talked about how fun it is to play alongside Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins and Mecole Hardman. He couldn’t contain his excitement about the months ahead, per ESPN.
“Anything we want to do,” Kelce said when asked what the speedsters allow the offense accomplish. You name it. We’ve got 4.2, 4.3, maybe 4.1. I don’t know what Tyreek runs now. Who knows? We’ve got guys that can absolutely fly all over the field. Speed kills in this game. If you’ve got it, you’re in the advantage.
“We’re taking it up a level (from) years past. You can just tell from the coaches’ excitement to their attention to detail to how guys are reacting to their coaching. This team is going to be awesome. We’re going to have a lot of fun on the offensive side of the ball.”
Kelce isn’t wrong. The Chiefs led the league in scoring a year ago, notching 34.8 points per game. A full four points better than the second-place Los Angeles Rams. Even more incredibly, Kansas City averaged 38.2 points in its eight regular-season road affairs. Much of this was due to speed, with Hill running a 4.24 40-time coming into the league. Watkins ran in the 4.3s, while Kelce, at 260 pounds, runs in the 4.6 range.
Going into 2019, the talent is somehow improved. While Kareem Hunt is gone, the Chiefs are deep at running back with Damien Williams, Carlos Hyde and rookie Darwin Thompson, who showed off his array of skills in the team’s 38-17 preseason win over the Cincinnati Bengals. The offensive line is unchanged save for center, where Austin Reiter — who played 11 games in Kansas City last year — is replacing Mitch Morse.
On the outside, the Chiefs drafted Hardman in the second round, another 4.3 speedster to pair with Hill. Kansas City should also improve simply through experience with Mahomes, who is entering his third year under head coach Andy Reid’s system and second as a starter.
Covering Kansas City will be the stuff of nightmare’s for opposing defensive coordinators. Double Kelce, and Hill, Watkins and Hardman are getting single coverage. Decide to bracket Kelce and roll a safety over Hill? Watkins and Hardman are singled up, and the box is light to run against. In short, there are no good options against a team that is the odds-on favorite in Vegas to win Super Bowl LIV.