Here’s what I love about this season so far: there are so many touchdowns scored — the Chiefs are leading the league in points per game, in case you didn’t know — that I actually had four TDs pick from this week. I thought about re-reviewing one from last week’s win against the Washington Redskins since I didn’t publish one of these due to being assigned jury duty in a military court, but I couldn’t resist breaking down Tyreek Hill’s magical ability to return a punt to the house.
After five weeks, the Chiefs have the No. 2 offense (by total yards) in the NFL, and as I said earlier, the No. 1 scoring offense. The Chiefs have scored touchdowns on the ground. The Chiefs have scored touchdowns through the air. The Chiefs have scored long touchdowns, owning the record for most consecutive games in a row with a 50+ yard touchdown with nine. The Chiefs have scored a touchdown on defense, and the gambling world thanks them.
But, until now, the Chiefs’ special teams has been relatively quiet. There have been a couple of decent returns, but nothing to write home about. Tyreek changed all that.
After a huge sack of the Houston Texan’s quarterback Deshaun Watson, by the only Houston that matters — that’s Justin in case you didn’t know — they were forced to punt. Tyreek (circled) waited for the ball on his own 18-yard line, with just under eight minutes left in the game.
This is what makes me absolutely admire Hill in the return game: look at how close Texans’ free safety Marcus Cromartie is to Hill when he catches the ball. Here’s the thing, I tried to get a screen shot of Hill juking Cromartie out of his jock strap, but Hill is so fast, I wasn’t able to stop the tape fast enough. Also notice that cornerback Kenneth Acker for the Chiefs took a bad angle on Cromartie is absolutely worthless to Hill as he is already cutting the wrong way on his block.
After Hill began to come across the field, he did the second thing that impressed the Hades out of me on this play. Look at that circle. There are two blue jerseys within two yards of the man known as the “The Cheetah” as he rounds the corner. I don’t think people understand exactly how fast his kind of fast is. The fact that he is only a 97 speed rating in EA Sports’ Madden 18 is an absolute travesty of justice. He literally accelerated coming out of his turn and just burned past both men without them laying a single hand on him.
I absolutely love this screen shot because it shows, to perfection, how a punt return blocking scheme is supposed to look. Look at how Hill’s blockers are setting up the wall to give him a corridor to the end zone. There is an impenetrable barrier worthy of the President of the United States that would keep even the most ingenious border-jumper out. That, coupled with Hill’s speed is a recipe for success for the best team in the NFL, and a disaster for anyone silly enough to kick Hill the ball.
As Hill — who at this point was going so fast he would potentially be pulled over by police in a school zone — only had one person in his way. That guy was the punter, Shane Lechler. Again, the move Hill put on Lechler was so nasty, I wasn’t able to get a good screen grab of it, but what I was able to get was the aftermath.
Literally in the blink of an eye, Lechler is on his back, and Hill has nothing but green turf and a blocker still pacing him all the way to the end zone. Notice some of Hill’s teammates were already holding their hands up in victory, knowing there is not a single person in a NFL uniform on either team who is fast enough to catch Hill in a footrace.
As Hill finishes his trek to the end zone, he throws up his now trademark move… the peace sign*, showing all of those players around him he has nothing but love. If you look again, there are more hands raised, calling the touchdown before Hill crosses the end zone.
This touchdown is a perfect example of what a team does when all parts are clicking. As I said in the opening, I could have picked either one of the Charcandrick West touchdowns or the De’Anthony Thomas score — I’m still not sure how that was a pass play, but I’ll take it — but I picked this play because it’s the ultimate display of teamwork. I don’t know how long the Chiefs can keep this up, but as I told my wife earlier this week, football is only fun when we’re winning.
And you know what… right now, I’m having a blast!
*Editor’s Note: Tyreek Hill has stated that when he holds up the peace sign, it means, “I’m out. I’m gone. I’m outta hear. I’m outta the building.”
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