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The best receivers the Kansas City Chiefs will face this year

As the headline says, the best receivers the Kansas City Chiefs will see on their 2017 schedule.

Honorable Mention: Chargers WR Keenan Allen

I’m not forgetting you, Dez Bryant. I’m just remembering last year’s Week 1 matchup, as I watched Keenan Allen tear up the Chiefs’ secondary for six receptions and 63 yards en route to a 21-3 San Diego (LA?) lead.

And what’s worse for Chiefs fans, Allen’s stat line included this:

Of course, Allen would go down late in the second quarter after suffering a torn ACL, a moment that changed the game entirely. The Chiefs went on to complete the greatest comeback in franchise history and the Kansas City Star’s Dave Eulitt took the best picture of Alex Smith I’ve ever seen.

Fast forward. A reader reminded me on Twitter the other day that midway through the Chiefs’ Week 17 matchup with the Chargers, Allen (a little oddly) spoke up about Peters on social media.

I don’t know much about Allen, but I love that he went with “bum” here. Very Mick-from-the-Rocky-series-esque. Peters obviously isn’t a bum—he’s a first-team All-Pro, but you have to like the juice in this mini-rivalry.

Their second date is Week 3.

Onto the countdown...

5. Dolphins WR Jarvis Landry (Week 16 at Arrowhead Stadium)

Speaking of juice.

Jarvis “Juice” Landry comes in at No. 5 on the list, and luckily for Kansas City, it won’t have to see him until Week 16, when, in a perfect world, you maybe won’t need a victory as bad.

In the above video from NFL Network’s Top 100 Players of 2017, Miami cornerback Byron Maxwell says, “[Landry] says one of the things he has in his mind is kill everything moving.”

Uh, what?

Landry’s kill-all mentality has led to back-to-back 1,000-plus-yards seasons, and he led all wide receivers in 2016 in yards after the catch.

The last time he saw Kansas City was back in the third game of his career, and he had a modest 24 receiving yards while serving as the Dolphins’ returner.

Needless to say, you don’t see Landry on kick return much anymore. He’s just too important, and, perhaps the biggest thing to worry about, he’s on a contract year.

4. Patriots WR Julian Edelman (Week 1 at Gillette Stadium)

Here’s a fitting take from a Chiefs fan:

You could make a fair argument for 2013, but 2016 was probably the best year of Julian Edelman’s career.

With tight end Rob Gronkowski sidelined for most of the season, Edelman became the Robin to Tom Brady’s Batman, leading the team in receiving yards at 1,106, more than 400 yards more than TE Martellus Bennett, the next in line.

And some of you will say, “but Edelman over Landry?”

In short, yes:

(go ahead an fast-forward to the :42 mark)

Clutch.

3. Raiders WR Amari Cooper (Week 7 at the Oakland Coliseum; Week 14 at Arrowhead Stadium)

You can already feel it.

Number 3, Oakland’s Amari Cooper, will be someone Chiefs fans grow to loathe as the years go on.

The 23-year-old former Alabama standout produced back-to-back 1,000-yards seasons to start his career, his most notable game against the Chiefs so far coming last year in Week 6, when he had 10 catches for 129 yards. The Chiefs still trounced the Raiders in that one, 26-10.

These highlights are from the best game of his career, Week 8 of last year against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

One of the most frustrating things about Cooper is the Raiders put him all over the field. As you can see in the above highlight package, he’s everywhere, makes ridiculous catches and if he has any room at all, can make you miss the tackle.

That makes things even more difficult for defensive game planners like Bob Sutton.

2. Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (Week 11 at MetLife Stadium)

Everyone always talks about the catch, but ignore that for now.

In three years, New York’s Odell Beckham Jr. is on a pace to become one of the greatest wide receivers in NFL history.

Like him or not (I didn’t love the net proposal either), you can’t argue with three straight 1,300-yards-plus seasons and 35 career touchdowns, as well as his unmatched catching ability and the pure variety of routes he has in his repertoire. This from Pro Football Focus:

The corner, multi-break and slant routes are three very different moves and Beckham is deadly at all of them. If you're a defensive back, how do you prepare for that?

Also, this:

29 forced missed tackles, the best of any receiver in the league by a margin of 20.

Dee Ford, Justin Houston and Tamba Hali better get to Eli quick.

1. Steelers WR Antonio Brown (Week 6 at Arrowhead Stadium)

If the Chiefs plan to avenge last year’s playoff loss against the Steelers Week 6, they will have to successfully defend against Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown.

I think as the years go on, we’ll be debating Brown versus Beckham for the league’s top wideout, but at this point, Beckham is only three years in, making the conversation easy in my opinion. Brown has seven years to his name, and in five of those years, he’s eclipsed 1,000 yards or more.

Brown had four receptions for 64 yards and two touchdowns in last year’s Sunday Night Debacle against the Chiefs.

Warning: video not for the faint of heart:

He was so excited about that touchdown play against the Chiefs, he humped the air. Yikes.

Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill was interviewed for Brown’s NFL Top 100 special (he was fourth, by the way).

“If I could model myself after somebody, I would model myself after AB because he’s a great example,” Hill said. “He takes no plays off.”

Brown is deservedly the NFL’s highest-paid receiver, as he averages $17 million per year, and that’s because of his ability against the NFL’s top defensive backs.

The 5-0 Chiefs (gulp) host Brown and the Steelers Week 6.