With a 17 week season for 2021, what should we expect from Tyreek Hill?
Tyreek Hill, aka “The Cheetah,” is the most explosive weapon in the NFL. He cannot be stopped, your only hope is to contain him. In five seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, he’s accumulated 368 receptions for 5,391 yards and 47 touchdowns, which are all top ten in the history of the Chiefs. He has time and time again broken expectations, even with Patrick Mahomes throwing him the ball. So the big question is, how do we set expectations for a player who has continually broken said expectations?
I have chosen to predict his statistics based on how healthy he has been, his recent statistics, opponents on the schedule, and the weapons that surround that player. It’s hard to set expectations for any player, but I think Tyreek is going to have another great season.
Tyreek Hill has had no major problems with health in his career, the only season he had issues was 2019 when he missed three games due to a shoulder injury. He’s been able to take the abuse of being used on screens, rushes, and slants and take it all really well. It seems like there is no real risk of an injury as we head to training camp in a couple of weeks. So I am expecting him to be healthy throughout the 2021 season.
The Chiefs have one of the hardest strength of schedules in the NFL. They play seven teams that made the playoffs in 2020 and play some up-and-coming teams like the Chargers, Cowboys, and Washington. In those 17 opponents, they play incredible defensive backs which might affect Tyreek Hill.
In 2021, he will have to face coverage from Chris Harris Jr., Darius Slay, Tre White, Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters, Kyle Fuller, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Derwin James, Justin Simmons, Denzel Ward, John Johnson III, Darnell Savage, and Casey Hayward. All of these players are Pro Bowl to All-Pro quality players and most have had problems facing Tyreek in the past. The Cheetah has loved to show off his talents against “top-tier” players and has scorched them over the past five seasons.
A reason he has been able to torch defenses is the weapons that have surrounded him as well as the guy throwing him the ball. It must be nice having a quarterback like Patrick Mahomes who likes to chuck the ball deep all the time. Mahomes has the best three-year statistical start to a career as any quarterback and he loves his weapons, he really loves getting the ball in the Cheetah’s hands.
Since Tyreek is so dynamic, a lot of the attention in the defensive secondary will be paid to him, but they can’t put all of the attention on him and then have to face the consequences of not guarding Travis Kelce.
Kelce and Hill are two of the most dynamic players at their respective positions, Kelce broke the single-season receiving yards record for a tight end in 15 games last season. It makes Kelce the number one weapon in the Chiefs and lets Tyreek run more wild and open, which is why he may have a better statical season. Also, the Chiefs are going to run the ball more with Clyde Edwards-Helaire because of the new offensive line, which could help Tyreek get the ball in play-action.
He also might be double-teamed more due to the lack of a number two receiver for the Chiefs. But that wasn’t that big of an issue last season. When Sammy Watkins wasn’t healthy for most of the 2020 season, Tyreek had his best statistical season since 2018. I do think if Demarcus Robinson, Mecole Hardman, or the rookie Cornell Powell can stay healthy and be a serious threat, Tyreek should still be dangerous.
Here is what I predict:
Projected 2021 statistics: 100 Receptions, 1,440 yards, 16 TD, 13 Rushes, 89 yards, 2 TD
He should have a very similar year to last season, but I think the extra week should give him elevated statistics and the coaching staff will want to get him involved in as many ways as possible. They’ll have him do end arounds, sling passes, shuffle passes, deep routes, slants and he may even play wildcat QB in some situations. I think Tyreek will repeat as a first-team All-Pro player and as a Pro Bowl player.