Over the course of the week, the football analytics site Pro Football Focus has been releasing its list of the top 101 NFL players of 2022. This list only considers what took place in 2022 — and postseason play is considered.
On Thursday, the top 25 players were identified. In all, seven Kansas City Chiefs players made the list — including four in the top 25 and three in the top four!
1. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes
Mahomes’ season was a legacy-building year. The debate is no longer about whether he is the best quarterback in the game, but simply about how long he needs to play at this level before he is unquestionably the greatest the game has ever seen. What he was able to do in the playoffs on a high ankle sprain will become the stuff of legend in years to come.
2. Defensive tackle Chris Jones
PFF’s Defensive Player of the Year only added to his spectacular season in the playoffs, where he added 20 total pressures to his tally and took over the game late in the AFC Championship to down the Bengals and their patchwork offensive line.
4. Tight end Travis Kelce
Just stop Kelce, and you can stop the Chiefs’ offense. That was the plan for pretty much every team all season long and yet, Kelce caught 137 passes for almost 1,600 yards and 16 touchdowns, including the postseason, gaining 2.3 yards per route run while remaining virtually impossible to slow down.
One other Kansas City player made the top 25 players released on Thursday.
21. Center Creed Humphrey
Humphrey was one of the league’s few centers who was capable of physically matching up with behemoth nose tackles, such as D.J. Reader, who had been terrorizing undersized players at the position all season. Humphrey was a dominant run and pass blocker all season, allowing 18 pressures in 17 games.
Linebacker Nick Bolton ranked 88th on the list, left guard Joe Thuney came in 96th and cornerback L’Jarius Sneed was 99th.
It’s easy to fault PFF when its grading system doesn’t match up with your own observations. But in this case — where the top-ranked offensive and defensive players are both on the league champion — it’s hard to complain.
The Chiefs were one of three teams to have seven players listed. The others were the Minnesota Vikings and San Francisco 49ers. But one team — the Philadelphia Eagles — has 13 players on the list. Like the Chiefs, four of those — Lane Johnson (ninth), Jason Kelce (17th), A.J. Brown (20th) and Jalen Hurts (24th) — made the top 25. The Eagles had six among the top 50 players.
After the Chiefs won Super Bowl LIV, the team had five players on PFF’s 2019 ranking. Three were among the top 25: Mahomes (4th), tackle Mitchell Schwartz (15th) and Kelce (18th). A total of 11 teams had five or more players on the list. Four teams had more than five: the Eagles (7), New Orleans Saints (7), Tennessee Titans (7) and 49ers (6).
It’s a great time to be alive, isn’t it?