Locked on Chiefs – Do Chiefs need to find a #2 cornerback?
By Ryan Tracy
Are the Kansas City Chiefs have a very good cornerback group they are still in need of a true No. 2?
Marcus Peters picked up in his sophomore season for the Kansas City Chiefs where he left off and his rookie outing. The two-time pro bowler earned his first All-Pro season in 2016. He put up six interceptions in his sophomore season. While solid, the total fell short of his rookie year when he had eight.
What is remarkable about 2016, is that he produced 6 INTs on only 60% of the targets he had the year previous. Peters was targeting only 91 times in 2016. That was a 40% reduction from the 151 targets he received in 2015. Those targets went to the cornerbacks on the other side of the field.
It’s not surprising the starting cornerbacks opposite Peters were targeted 193 times, more than double Peters targets. What is surprising is that Peters did not play the most snaps of the Chiefs cornerbacks in 2016.
Steven Nelson led the team with 1012 snaps, topping Peters by just a few snaps. While a significant portion of those snaps were taken in the slot, Nelson’s performance was similar to Peters. Both players gave up 58% completion percentage and over 12 yards per completion. As a team the Chiefs were 18th against the pass, surrendering 3958 yards passing. To improve in 2017, those numbers have to come down.
Many believe Terrance Mitchell’s late-season performance could be the answer at the RCB position. Mitchell gave up 43% completion rate and only 10 yards per completion.
Unfortunately, he was only received roughly 30% of the targets Peters and Nelson received. The sample size is just too small to rely on Mitchell in 2017. He will face tougher competition and game planning now that opposing teams have a library of game film on him. That is a situation that’s similar to Marcus Cooper’s, whose performance wilted under more film study and targets.
The team needs to find a true No. 2 cornerback to pair with Marcus Peters.
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