In the lead-up to the 2022 NFL season, the Kansas City Chiefs made the difficult decision to part ways with their star wide receiver, Tyreek Hill, sending him to the Miami Dolphins.
This move had a significant impact on the Chiefs, as they have since struggled to find a suitable replacement for the seven-time Pro Bowler. Consequently, quarterback Patrick Mahomes has been missing a reliable go-to weapon on the outside.
Meanwhile, down in South Beach, Tyreek Hill has been making NFL history with his remarkable performance. With a 112-yard game against the New England Patriots in Week 8, Hill became the first player in the Super Bowl era to surpass 1,000 receiving yards in his team’s first eight games. His astonishing pace puts him on track to set a new single-season NFL record with 2,154 receiving yards.
To put this into perspective, last season, Kansas City’s top four wide receivers, including JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Justin Watson, and Mecole Hardman, collectively managed 2,250 receiving yards.
While the Chiefs managed to win their second Super Bowl in four seasons without a clear replacement for Hill, it appears that the limitations of this year’s receiving corps are becoming a significant obstacle.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who achieved a career-high 42 receptions in 2022, is now on pace for a career-low 25 receptions in 2023.
Rookie Rashee Rice leads Chiefs wide receivers in receiving yards this season with 361, but his performance only ranks 51st across the NFL.
Kadarius Toney, who was expected to stake his claim as the WR1, has been largely forgotten, failing to surpass 35 receiving yards in any game this season and often ending with single-digit receiving yards in half of his games.
While it’s an almost impossible task to replicate Tyreek Hill’s production, Kansas City must urgently enhance the talent at the wide receiver position to draw coverage away from Travis Kelce and provide a smoother path for their superstar quarterback, Patrick Mahomes. In recent games, Mahomes has thrown six interceptions and posted a quarterback rating of 63.6 or below twice.
With proven wide receiver talents such as DeAndre Hopkins and Davante Adams potentially available at the upcoming trade deadline, it is high time for the Chiefs to secure a legitimate WR1 for their signal-caller and revamp their receiving corps.