The most significant development on Sunday - besides the Chiefs formally clinching a playoff spot - was Tyreek Hill’s new role in the backfield. Tyreek took more snaps out of the backfield in this game than he has all season and it hasn’t been close. He only had six carries but his season high before that was just two so this was something new. You could feel the defense on their heels when Tyreek lined up in the backfield.
Andy Reid said after the game that they started working on Tyreek as a receiver when he came to Kansas City and now they’re gradually adding more and more to his plate.
“Yeah, so we’re trying to expand every week a little bit more and more,” Reid said. “He had some great carries back there. He’s an explosive player. He’s had experience at the running back position. We’ve tried to convert him here to wide receiver, and he’s done pretty well there. We wanted to put most of the emphasis on that first until he got a grasp of that. Then, you can add some things in here and there.”
Tyreek had a 28 and 70-yard rush in the game before, as Reid says, the Broncos defense started respecting it. He was also a receiver throughout the game too. He’s doing it all.
Reid’s experience will come into play with how they handle Tyreek going forward. Getting hit like a running back is a lot different than stepping out of bounds and avoiding contact as a receiver. Tyreek took more licks in this game than he has in any other game this season. He’s a ball of muscle but still only 185 pounds.
I’m thinking adding this wrinkle this late in the year may have been part of the strategy to keep him healthy throughout the year. If the Chiefs can get Tyreek five carries a game that will put a ton of pressure on the defense.