What a win it was for the Chiefs over the Bengals this past Sunday night. It’s that time of the week to look at whose stock is rising or possibly dropping for the Chiefs. No, the math isn’t wrong, there are in fact only two players listed in the down section. That’s what happens after a blowout victory. Let’s get go ahead and get started by looking at player performances from the victory.
Kareem Hunt – RB
In last week’s edition of three up, three down, we mostly looked at players that are more under the radar. This time, we cannot ignore the epic showing that Kareem Hunt displayed on Sunday night. First, there was the hurdle over Jessie Bates early in the game. Then, you have the plethora of missed tackles by the Bengals defense. Once again, Pro Football Focus has determined that Hunt has forced more missed tackles than any other running back in the league. Finally, you have Kareem proving what Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy has reiterated throughout press conferences since training camp. That is that Kareem has been running harder than any other back in the league, to put it nicely. The defending rushing champion is now third in the league in rushing yards. Nearly seventy percent of Hunt’s rushing yards have come in the last four games. It’s safe to say that Kareem will keep running hard and it’s going to take a village to bring him down.
Dorian O’Daniel – LB
It was quite a bit longer than some thought it would take for the rookie from Clemson to see significant snaps on defense. However, Dorian O’Daniel performed adequately and showed how well he can defend against running backs in pass coverage. There was one instance where it appeared as though Joe Mixon did not even want to catch the ball because O’Daniel had him dialed up. The speed and consistent tackling from DOD could possibly result in more snaps for him. Add in the fact that the Chiefs placed Terrance Smith on injured reserve on Tuesday, O’Daniel is going to get more chances regardless. It’s time to see what he’s got in store.
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Interior Offensive Line
We are going to go with more than one player for this final part of three up. The trio of Cam Erving, Jordan Devey and Andrew Wylie faced a tough test against the likes of Geno Atkins, who has been to six Pro Bowls, and also Andrew Billings a big-bodied defensive tackle who moves well. The announcers hardly even mentioned Atkins, other than the opening part of the game. That shows how well these three performed.
Erving has performed well this season in an increased role, but the biggest thing is that he continues to get better every week. Wylie, who has bounced around a few NFL homes, looks to have found a permanent home in Kansas City. He looked good in the preseason but was hard pressed to get a chance to start. Now that Wylie has that opportunity, expect to see no let up from the rugged competitor. Unfortunately, as well as Devey had done on Sunday night, the Chiefs placed him on injured reserve on Tuesday with a pectoral injury. That does not sound like an easy injury to deal with at all for an offensive lineman. Hopefully, Devey will recover quickly and come back stronger down the line for the Kansas City.
Terrance Smith – LB
We mentioned that Smith’s season is most likely over, as he was placed on injured reserve. Smith has been inconsistent this season in coverage and tackling, which is not ideal for the likelihood of him returning. The bigger picture for Smith is wondering if he will ever play any significant snaps for the Chiefs. After the season, he will become a restricted free agent. Also, with the amount of defensive talent in next year’s draft and the linebackers the Chiefs already have, that is another reason to believe the Chiefs could move on from Smith.
The Center Position
It was such a well played game by the Chiefs that I can only look toward injuries at what is a low point right now for Kansas City. With Devey going on injured reserve and Mitch Morse‘s status currently up in the air, we do not currently have a clear idea at what the offensive line, and more importantly the center position, will look like this Sunday. We will most likely get an update on Morse sometime this week, but we’ll see.
Thank you for reading. Enjoy the rest of your week before the Chiefs’ next game. In the meanwhile, check out all of the other great content on Full Press Coverage.