Pro Football Focus has finished the slow release of its annual Top 101 players of the 2013 NFL season, and the Kansas City Chiefs finished with a strong showing.
Jamaal Charles leads all Chiefs at No. 11 overall, just outside the top 10. Houston Texans defender J.J. Watt is No. 1 overall with St. Louis Rams pass rusher Robert Quinn and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning following suit at No. 2 and 3 respectively.
In all, six Chiefs finished among the top 72 on the list and a rundown reveals just how stout the team's defense could be once again in 2014. Here's the quick snapshots:
Charles may have ended up with a higher yards per attempt mark in 2012, but we were more impressed with his running in 2013 as evidenced by such a high placed finish. Of course with Andy Reid in town it wasn’t just his rushing that wowed us as Charles was a more potent (and reliable) weapon in the receiving game, and it was that which pushed him so far up this list along with an incredibly strong (five green graded games on the bounce) finish to the regular season.
Houston would finish the year our top-ranked 3-4 outside linebacker, with the only thing keeping him from going higher in this list are the five games he missed at the end of the season. Before that (and when he returned for the playoffs) he was phenomenal, grading negatively just twice (and no worse than a -0.4) and being the kind of all-around playmaker that teams crave from a 3-4 outside linebacker.
One of (if not the) most durable defensive tackles in the league, Poe proved to be some kind of athlete to manage the workload he did while grading in the green in 11 of 16 games he featured in. Particularly strong against the run (where his 30 defensive stops were 3rd most of all nose tackles) this every down terror showed no signs of slowing down as the year went on, registering a pressure in all but two games with eight games of three or more. Described as a workout warrior before entering the league, there aren’t any tagging him for his combine numbers instead of his performance now.
It’s not easy for a safety to go at No. 5 overall and justify the pick, but Berry is a man who has made that happen. His 2013 season wasn’t perfect but it was a highlight reel of what it takes to be a complete safety in the NFL. A rare athlete capable to play linebacker in dime packages, match up man-on-man with tight ends, and perform more traditional safety roles (whether in the box or not). Berry put forth a tremendous season that would earn him the highest grade of any strong safety in the regular season.
Another double digit sack season for Hali who would log 970 regular season snaps in a season with his customary heavy workload. As ever his pass rushing was the key to his success as he led his position in quarterback disruptions during the regular season before adding another seven in a big postseason showing. He may have been upstaged by his partner in crime, but Hali nonetheless was incredibly productive on his way to finishing sixth overall during our regular season rankings.
Death, taxes and yet another excellent year from Derrick Johnson. In this age that we live in those are some certainties you can believe in. Johnson was particularly strong in coverage where he would earn the highest grade of all inside linebackers thanks in part to his two picks, three pass breakups and 16 defensive stops in that regard. Throw in some decent work in the run game and a useful 23 quarterback disruptions and you’ve got a nice little season.
Make sure to check out the rest of Pro Football Focus' list for a memorable rundown on the entire season.