Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Vince Williams (98) brings down Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) second quarter at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on October 2, 2016. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- In Sunday night's overtime thriller in Denver, the nation finally got to see what's been building in Kansas City with the Chiefs and rookie wide receiver Tyreek Hill.
Kansas City's 30-27 victory over the Denver Broncos came with Hill scoring all of the team's touchdowns. Hill reached the end zone on an 86-yard return off a post-safety kick, a 3-yard run where he took the handoff from running back Spencer Ware in the wildcat formation and a 3-yard catch that allowed the Chiefs to push the game into overtime.
"It's definitely a come out party on Sunday Night Football," said Hill. "It's definitely fun because the whole country is watching. So, yes, it is a come out party."
And, a bit of a historical evening as well for Hill, who became the first rookie to score in a single game with a run, catch and return since Gale Sayers in October 1965 for the Chicago Bears against the Minnesota Vikings.
"They told me after the game and I was like, 'Man, that's great,' " said Hill. "Everybody is going to congratulate me, but it's more than me out there on that field. I've got teammates, those guys did a great job helping me weave my way through traffic and creating lanes for me to use my speed."
Hill's speed and football abilities allowed him to collect 169 all-purpose yards on just 13 touches with the three scores. That's a 13-yard average every time he had his hands on the ball. Over the first 11 games of his NFL career, Hill has had the ball in his hands 92 times, picking up 1,213 yards, an average of 13.2 yards per opportunity.
The rest of the country got to see on Sunday night game what Hill's teammates have marveled at since working in the offseason program.
"He's beyond fast, his speed is unbelievable," said outside linebacker Justin Houston. "You see it out there when he's playing on the field. He's one of a kind."
REPORT CARD VS. DENVER
PASSING OFFENSE: C -- Quarterback Alex Smith and his offensive mates struggled throwing the ball until late in the game. That's when the Chiefs went to a no-huddle scheme and Smith and the offense got into rhythm for the first time. In Kansas City's last possession in regulation and in two chances with the ball in overtime, Smith hit 12 of 19 throws, including a touchdown pass, a two-point conversion pass and a 21-yard completion to tight end Travis Kelce that was the offense's longest play of the game. Smith survived six sacks -- three by outside linebacker Von Miller -- as the pass protection found no consistent way to handle the reigning Super Bowl MVP.
RUSHING OFFENSE: D -- The Chiefs wanted to run the ball against Denver. They needed to produce a ground game against the Broncos defense. They couldn't get it done, running for just 83 yards on 26 carries. Their longest run on the plus side was just seven yards. Spencer Ware had 17 carries for 64 yards. Knile Davis was the second back in, but he ran just three times for six yards. Charcandrick West went eight yards in three carries. Wide receiver Tyreek Hill had the most important rushing play of the day for the Chiefs, scoring on a 3-yard run after he took the handoff from Ware in the wildcat formation.
PASS DEFENSE: C -- Denver quarterback Trevor Siemian threw for 368 yards and three touchdown passes. The Broncos had six plays that were longer in positive yardage than the longest gain by the Chiefs on the night. They hit passes for 76 yards and 64 yards. There were times when Chiefs cornerback Phillip Gaines had trouble locating either the receiver or the ball. But Kansas City's defense did not fold and receives a passing grade against the Denver pass offense thanks to five sacks, including three from outside linebacker Justin Houston. The Chiefs got good pressure throughout the game from their makeshift defensive line.
RUSH DEFENSE: C -- As much as the Chiefs wanted to develop a running game Sunday night, so did the Broncos. They hoped to take some of the pressure off their inexperienced quarterback. The defense did a good job, holding Denver to 3.3 yards per carry. The Chiefs allowed just 101 yards to the Broncos running backs, with Siemian adding 23 yards on scrambles away from pass rush pressure.
SPECIAL TEAMS: A -- The Chiefs dominated the kicking game and it was a big part of their victory script. There was returner Tyreek Hill's 86-yard kick return for a touchdown. There was the turnover they forced when the Broncos muffed a punt. Cairo Santos was made all his placements, including the game-winner -- even if it came with help from the left upright. Punter Dustin Colquitt posted a 44.1-yard net average. The coverage teams for coordinator Dave Toub allowed just 14 yards on five punt returns, the longest being nine yards.
COACHING: A -- The outcome of a victory like Sunday night's for the Chiefs did not come in just one 24-hour period. It's a mentality, a culture if you will, that's fostered every day. That comes from the head coach and the coaching staff and they've imprinted the idea of 60-minute or, in this case, 75-minute football in the minds of their players. They believe any person that walks on the field in a Kansas City uniform can perform. Andy Reid and staff also had a good game Sunday night. Reid and the offense handled the late opportunities in regulation time and overtime quite well. Reid says his job is to put his players in positions where they can excel. That's what happened against Denver.