The Chiefs kicked off their 2022 season in a dominant fashion, dispatching the Arizona Cardinals with ease. Which players are trending up after week one? Which players might be trending the wrong way?
After a 44-21 beat down in the desert, there were several standouts on both sides of the ball. The Chiefs led 37-7 at one point in the second half and took their foot off the gas after that point. A couple of players for Kansas City didn’t show up as nearly everyone else did, but the Chiefs still had no problems dispatching the Cardinals. Here are players trending up or down following the team’s week one victory:
Two Chiefs Players Trending Up After Their Week One Victory
It seems pretty obvious to say after a clean five touchdown, zero interception performance, but Patrick Mahomes stock is rising through the roof. He finished his day with 360 yards and a quarterback rating of 144.2. One of the main storylines in the entire league this off-season was whether or not Mahomes would be able to adjust to life after Tyreek Hill’s departure.
Mahomes came into Week One tied with Justin Herbert for the third shortest odds to win MVP and there were several prognosticators predicting his downfall without Tyreek. After this afternoon’s performance, Mahomes has firmly placed himself at the head of the MVP conversation for the rest of the year. The Mahomes Hype Train is back in full gear.
The yardage numbers may not jump off the page, but CEH got off to a hot start in his 2022 campaign. He was utilized in the screen and short pass at a much higher clip than his first two seasons, which is something that Chiefs fans had been clamoring for. He had a big catch and run on the second drive of the game before getting his first touchdown reception on a slick underhand shuttle pass.
Touchdown number two came on a fourth-and-two where he broke out to the flat all by himself. Edwards-Helaire was running hard downfield and pass blocking well out of the backfield on top of his receiving work so he seems to be inching out of the Chiefs Kingdom’s collective doghouse.
Two Chiefs Players Trending Down Following Their Week One Win
Juju ended up with six catches for 79 yards so he was not exactly a bum out there, but he certainly did not have the Chiefs debut that was expected of him. Juju was cruising in the first half, registering all six of his catches and looking like he was going to stake a solid claim for the title of wide receiver one. A couple of fumbles, including one carelessly lost on his own side of the field during the first half’s two-minute drill, absolutely derailed the rest of his day.
We all know how Andy Reid and the Chiefs feel about players who fumble, especially in key situations like that. Smith-Schuster was not targeted at all in the second half so it looks like he is going to have some work to do to work himself back into Andy and Patrick’s good graces.
Willie was simply a non-factor from his linebacker spot on defense. Nick Bolton was flying all over the field with nine tackles and being a general nuisance where ever the ball went. Gay, however, simply did not have the same impact with only two tackles and basically disappeared off of the field.
He was simply a guy out there when the expectation is for him to be one of the more productive pieces of this defense. This is a year where the Chiefs will really be looking at Gay’s performance to see if they will be able to slide Leo Chenal in that spot next year. He is going to need to step it up if he is going to be a part of the Chiefs’ future plans.