Tue Aug 11 12:23pm ET
By DAVE SKRETTA
AP Sports Writer
In this Jan. 27, 2020, filer photo, Kansas City Chiefs' Mecole Hardman (17) and Tyreek Hill (10) pose for a photo in Miami. The two Chiefs wide receivers have traded barbs about their speed ever since Hardman was chosen in the second round of last year's draft. Hardman and Hill both have world-class speed that much was never in question but just who was the fastest man in Kansas City wasn't settled until the two lined up in the team's indoor facility this past week. Hill won easily. Hardman copped to it on social media with a sad-face emoji. (AP Photo/Doug Benc, File)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Mecole Hardman is probably faster than 99% of players in the NFL.
Tyreek Hill happens to be in the 1%.
The two Chiefs wide receivers have traded barbs about their speed ever since Hardman was chosen in the second round of last year's draft. Hardman and Hill both have world-class speed - that much was never in question - but just who was the fastest man in Kansas City wasn't settled until the two lined up in the team's indoor facility this past week.
Hill won easily. Hardman copped to it on social media with a sad-face emoji.
''Every day we find ways to better ourselves,'' Hill said in a social media posting. ''Really enjoyed the competition level and the way we push each other. It's all love.''
The real winners, though, are probably the Super Bowl champs. Throw in veteran Sammy Watkins, rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire and even tight end Travis Kelce, and the Chiefs just might have the fleetest group of skill position players in a league that has grown increasingly dependent on speed.
''The Tyreek and Mecole race, I mean, both the guys are super fast. I'm just lucky to have both of them,'' Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes said during a break from training camp meetings and workouts this week.
''Tyreek got the first one,'' Mahomes said with a smile, ''but I'm going to try to keep them from racing anymore. I'd rather them just run down the sidelines scoring touchdowns during the game week.''
All of the Chiefs' wide receivers did plenty of that last year.
Hill caught seven touchdown passes last season. Hardman had six. Another member of the dynamic group, Demarcus Robinson, hauled in four TD catches and Watkins finished with three.
On one of Hardman's touchdown receptions, an 83-yard catch in Week 3, he hit a top speed of 21.74 mph that put the play among the fastest all season, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. Watkins hit 21.33 mph on a 38-yard TD catch in Week 1.
Hill didn't quite reach those speeds last season, mostly because he's often so far ahead of defenders by the end zone that he's able to throttle back a bit. But gaze back at previous seasons and the two-time All-Pro regularly has some of the fastest single plays in the NFL. In fact, he had the two fastest during the 2016 season, at one point hitting 23.24 mph.
It's not just straight-line speed, either. There is a significant difference between being fast and playing fast. And the ability of Hardman and Hill in particular to stop on a dime, change directions and immediately accelerate to full speed is uncanny.
Those also happen to be traits that allowed Edwards-Helaire to become a first-round draft pick.
Most draftniks thought the Chiefs would select a defensive player in the first round, but they instead made the talented running back out of LSU their choice. They were enamored by his blocking in the pass game, his ability to catch passes out of the backfield and, yes, his speed and elusiveness - and it wound up being a decision that carried even more importance when Super Bowl star Damien Williams decided to opt out because of coronavirus concerns.
''It's something that I was born with,'' Edwards-Helaire said of his unique athletic ability. ''I feel like that was a gift I had (and) you always try to make yourself better, find a way to make it elite, as some guys would say. I wanted to work on it, being quicker and faster than the next person is always the name of the game. It's the way I make my game in, being quick and fast in small areas. It's the way I run the ball. It's the way I got to the Kansas City Chiefs.''
It's a big reason why Hardman made it to the Chiefs. Why Hill made it, too.
Sunday Morning Update: Week 3
Indianapolis Colts LB Darius Leonard posted a total of 11 stops with a tackle for loss and a pass defensed in Week 3 against the New York Jets.
Indianapolis Colts CB T.J. Carrie finished with four tackles, a pass defensed and a 47-yard interception return for touchdown in Week 3 against the New York Jets.
Indianapolis Colts CB Xavier Rhodes finished with a solo tackle, two passes defensed and a 44-yard interception return for touchdown in Week 3 against the New York Jets.
Indianapolis Colts DE Justin Houston finished with a solo tackle, a sack, a tackle for loss, a quarterback hit and a safety in Week 3 against the New York Jets.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin (hamstring) caught five of his six targets for 64 yards and a touchdown before exiting with a hamstring injury in a 28-10 win over the Denver Broncos in Week 3.
Fantasy Spin: A week after being sidelined with a concussion, Godwin now has another injury to deal with. If he misses more time going forward, Scott Miller could vault into flex territory.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans caught a pair of one-yard touchdowns in a 28-10 win over the Denver Broncos in Week 3.
Fantasy Spin: It has been a strange season for Evans, who has sandwiched a pair of two-yard performances between a 100-yard game. He has scored in all three games, but Evans will need to see an increase in volume if he is going to finish as a WR1.
New York Jets WR Braxton Berrios registered four receptions for 64 yards and a touchdown on his six targets in Week 3 against the Indianapolis Colts.
Fantasy Spin: Berrios helped pick up some of the slack with Jamison Crowder inactive due to an injury. That's two games and two scores for Berrios, who is likely to be a hot add off the waiver wire this season. He is worth grabbing as a WR5 in fantasy leagues of 12 or more teams.
New York Jets TE Chris Herndon posted three catches for 21 yards on five targets in Week 3 against the Indianapolis Colts.
Fantasy Spin: Herndon opened with six grabs in Week 1, but he has managed just four catches for 26 yards on nine targets in his past two outings. That type of production isn't good for anyone in fantasy.
New York Jets S Bradley McDougald registered 10 total stops with five solo tackles in Week 3 against the Indianapolis Colts.
New York Jets QB Sam Darnold completed 17-of-29 passes for 168 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions in Week 3 against the Indianapolis Colts. He also ran five times for 20 yards.
Fantasy Spin: Darnold was without Jamison Crowder, and he was also without Le'Veon Bell for the second straight game. It didn't help not having two of his best offensive weapons, but he simply made too many mistakes. The Jets have a quick turnaround, facing the Denver Broncos on Thursday in Week 4. Darnold cannot be trusted for fantasy purposes.
New York Jets RB Frank Gore ran 15 times for 57 yards in Week 3 against the Indianapolis Colts and he added one reception for five yards on his only target.
Fantasy Spin: Gore has been picking up the slack with Le'Veon Bell inactive for a second straight game due to a hamstring injury. While Gore is getting a majority of the backfield touches ahead of La'Mical Perine and Kalen Ballage, it might only be a matter of time before Adam Gase elects to try the younger players. Fantasy buyer beware.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Ronald Jones rushed 13 times for 53 yards and caught two of his four targets for 20 yards in a 28-10 win over the Denver Broncos in Week 3.
Fantasy Spin: While it wasn't an overwhelming stat line, but after Leonard Fournette had a big Week 2, Jones resumed the lead role, leading all backs in carries and touches. The chances of Jones breaking into the RB2 ranks this year seem slim, but he should have value as a flex option.
Updating a previous report, Philadelphia Eagles TE Dallas Goedert (ankle) is expected to miss some time after leaving the Week 3 game against the Cincinnati Bengals due to an ankle injury. He will have an MRI Monday, Sept. 28.
Fantasy Spin: With Goedert likely to miss time, Zach Ertz will once again suck up all of the tight end targets, and might re-emerge as a bona fide TE1 in fantasy after having to share the wealth in the first three games this season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady completed 25 of his 38 passes for 297 yards and three touchdowns in a 28-10 win over the Denver Broncos in Week 3.
Fantasy Spin: Brady had his best performance as a Buccaneer, but until he strings together a few strong outings, the veteran should still be treated as a matchup-based streaming option.
Los Angeles Chargers WR Mike Williams (hamstring) suffered a hamstring injury in Week 3 against the Carolina Panthers and he was unable to return.
Fantasy Spin: That explains his lack of usage in the home loss to the Panthers. He managed just one catch for 17 yards on one target We'll know more about his status for Week 4 once practice resumes on Wednesday.
Carolina Panthers CB Donte Jackson (toe) left the Week 3 game against the Los Angeles Chargers due to a toe injury.
New Orleans Saints TE Jared Cook (ankle) left the Week 3 game against the Green Bay Packers. He headed for the medical tent initially, then was taken to the locker room.
Fantasy Spin: If Cook is unable to return, it will be Josh Hill likely handling Cook's workload. We'll update his injury status as soon as possible.
The Carolina Panthers Defense capitalized in Week 3 against a team starting a rookie quarterback on the Chargers. Carolina notched two sacks, eight quarterback hits, one pick, and three fumble recoveries. While this was an encouraging performance for a team that gave up over 30 points in the first two games, this type of performance should not be expected each week. The Panthers' defense is still a very young and inexperienced unit, and they face a tough test in a rising Cardinals team next week.
Minnesota Vikings WR Adam Thielen caught three of his five targets for 29 yards and a touchdown in a 31-30 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 3.
Fantasy Spin: The touchdown salvaged an otherwise quiet afternoon, and since a monster performance in Week 1, Thielen has just six catches for 60 yards in the last two games. He still has WR2 upside, but with Kirk Cousins struggling, boom-or-bust production could become the norm.
Minnesota Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph caught two of his three targets for 11 yards and a touchdown in a 31-30 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 3.
Fantasy Spin: It has been a quiet season for Rudolph, and he is sitting on four catches for 39 yards and a score after three games. He is a touchdown-dependent TE2.