The Chiefs game against the Saints in Week 7 this year is when I noticed quarterbacks avoiding Marcus Peters. Here is Drew Brees, one of the best quarterbacks of all time, and he seemed to actively be avoiding Peters’ right side of the field. At that point Peters had five picks in his first five games of the season.
That continued for the rest of the season. Peters was not picked on at the same rate he was last year. Sure, some of that is Sean Smith being gone but some of that is also that Peters is really good. The way defensive coordinators would always mention Jamaal Charles, opposing offensive coordinators mentioned Peters.
BJ Kissel of Chiefs.com fame shared this Pro Football Focus stat that tells the story. The numbers of times Peters has been targeted last year and this:
This averages out to over five targets per game. I’m surprised it’s not fewer this year. Peters went without a pick from Week 6 to Week 17. His longest interception drought prior to that was three games.
Some quarterbacks, like Big Ben, went right after Peters (on the first play of the game, ugh). Most of the others only went at him if they had to.
The dropoff from Sean Smith to the Chiefs cornerbacks this year was noticeable until the Chiefs put Terrance Mitchell in the last month. With Mitchell doing his job on the other side, quarterbacks can’t always avoid Peters and we saw last week what happens when they don’t avoid him.