For the first time in his four-year career, Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill missed a sizable chunk of the regular season due to injury. Only 12 plays into Week 1 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, an SC joint dislocation cost him the remainder of that game and the following four weeks.
Hill’s absence from the lineup included a close call against the Detroit Lions, a 19-13 loss to the Indianapolis Colts — and when he returnedm a 31-24 loss to the Houston Texans in which he played only 51% of the snaps.
Opposing defenses were utilizing man coverage against the Chiefs, and it was working. But that has not been the case lately, as the Chiefs are in the midst of a seven-game winning streak that has them one win away from the Super Bowl.
“I feel like nobody in the NFL can guard any of us, and that’s no disrespect to nobody,” said Hill on Wednesday. “That’s just the confidence that I got in myself, and just the wideouts I got around me, including the tight ends and the running backs. I feel like no DB unit, no secondary unit, no linebacker or any defense can guard any of us. So man-to-man is just easy for us to beat, and if you just allow us to just run through zones, it’s even easier.”
Hill also realizes the Chiefs have head coach Andy Reid on their side. Reid is widely regarded as one of the game’s most innovative offensive play-callers, and Hill says he views Reid’s creations as pure magic.
“He’s like a magician when he’s calling plays,” he said. “Even at practice… when [Reid’s] calling plays and drawing them up like he’s (Harry) Houdini or something. It’s crazy. It’s fun. He gets everyone involved. You never know where the ball is coming ‘cause you got Sammy (Watkins) going on a shallow cross or you got me going on a post. You got (Travis) Kelce going across the field, you got Mecole (Hardman) doing some kind of crazy route, D-Rob (Demarcus Robinson) doing a crazy route. D-Will (Damien Williams) faking. You got all kinds of crazy stuff and to mix all of that in, and then you got an MVP quarterback, so you can do whatever you want.”
That “crazy stuff” worked wonders in the Chiefs’ game against the Houston Texans last Sunday, when they accumulated 434 yards and scored touchdowns on seven straight possessions.
Despite missing more than four games, Hill still compiled 860 yards on the season, getting into the end zone seven times. With the Chiefs in conference championship, he finds himself back in the same position as last year — except this time, he feels he is more of a complete player.
“I feel like I’m a better blocker,” he said. “In order to be the best receiver in the game, you got be able to be good at every aspect of the game. I can catch, I can run routes, I can jump with about anybody in the game, but I want to be able to block for my running backs and for my teammates. I want to be able to put somebody on the ground. I want to be able — when it’s like fourth-and-1 — I want Coach Reid to call my number and say, ‘Tyreek, I want you to go in there and blow that linebacker up.’
“I want to make plays like that for my teammates, and also, I enjoy running D-Will (Damien Williams) down, so that’s fun, too.”