Chiefs Film Room: Marcus Peters, Rookie of the Year


Who could have seen the immediate impact Marcus Peters would have on this team when drafted back in April? I mean, has any non-QB rookie this year thrived to the level Peters has, given the amount of responsibility thrust upon him from day one? One could make the case for Gurley on the offensive side of the ball, but on defense, there really is no contest.

More from Arrowhead Addict

The numbers alone paint a pretty vivid picture of the impact Peters has had. His seven interceptions are good for second in the league, and place him above the entire Ravens, Saints, and Lions teams (he’d also be tied with the Bears and Cowboys)! Oh, and those seven interceptions are more than the entire Chiefs defense produced all of last season. If that isn’t enough of a testament to Peters’ ball skills for you, he also leads the league in passes defended with 23. Not bad, rook.

So basically, that stats are saying Peters has some pretty darn good ball skills, and his film against the Ravens showed that as well:

Here, Peters is lined up at the top of the screen, playing his usual press man coverage. The receiver runs a short curl, but Peters refuses to give up any separation. The moment the ball is thrown, Peters does a great job of immediately locating the ball, and then making a perfect break on it.

This is a great look at what happens when the ball (the red circle) is in the air. Peters’ eyes are on the ball when the receiver reaches the top of his route and he is in position to make a play on it without interfering. Peters had this route the whole way, and it’s the kind of play he seemingly makes in his sleep on a weekly basis.

Outside of great ball skills, nothing defines Marcus Peters’ play more than his aggressive mentality. The guy is always looking to make a play for this team, and while it often does result him doing just that, it also gives defenses something to exploit.

Peters (top of the screen), is lined up one-on-one against Aiken with no safety help over the top. The Ravens have the perfect play call for this situation – an Aiken double-move. Peters is in great position during the early portion of this route, staying in the receiver’s hip pocket. But it’s when the receiver hits him with the double-move you see Peters’ aggressiveness get the best of him.

As soon as the receiver stutter steps to make it look like he’s running a curl, you see Peters plant his foot, and start to make a break towards the receiver. This negates all of Peters’ momentum and highlights one of Peters’ only physical drawbacks – his lack of straight-line speed.

Peters has now gone from great positioning, to being a step behind the receiver. With not enough make-up speed, Peters isn’t able to close the gap the receiver opened up with the route. The result is a big completion for the Ravens, setting up their first touchdown of the game.

While this is an example of Peters’ always-aggressive mindset getting him in trouble, it also paid dividends later on:

This is Peters’ second interception of the game. He’s at the bottom of your screen, lined up almost 10 yards off of his man. The receiver goes deep and Peters is able to stay stride-for-stride with him, no problem. A common knock on rookie corners I hear is their failure to utilize the sideline as their friend, but notice how Peters does exactly that here. The receiver is forced within a yard of the boundary, making for a pretty small window to fit the ball into.

Finally, look at how Peters has his eyes on the quarterback the whole time. While this leaves him susceptible for a big play, it also makes it much easier to find the ball when thrown. In this instance, it pays off as Peters is immediately able to locate the underthrown ball and get the takeaway. While it may backfire at times, I love how Peters is constantly looking to make a play on the ball, and as he gets more experience, we’re going to see him get burned for it a lot less often.

Peters has been delivered more than anybody, even John Dorsey, could’ve expected when his name was called back in April. His ball skills, aggressiveness, and never back down attitude are all elements that were sorely missed last season. This Chiefs defense has emerged as one of the elite units in the league, and Marcus Peters has had an enormous hand in that. It is this kind of impact that earned Peters a Pro Bowl nod in his rookie year, and should see him taking home the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year award.

Chiefs GIF of the Week

Oh man, #98 and #91 never stood a chance.