Now that the NFL season is past Thanksgiving, playoff spots are tightening up and it’s becoming much easier to separate pretenders from contenders. A team that went from a pretender through the first seven weeks, the Kansas City Chiefs have ridden a 4-0 month of November to a 7-4 record and first place in the AFC West.
One of the catalysts of this midseason turnaround for Kansas City has been the play of the defense. Giving up an average of 11.75 points per game across their wins against the Giants, Packers, Raiders, and Cowboys. Nearly the entire unit should be recognized for this turnaround, but, with Pro Bowl voting opening up this month, let’s take a look at Chiefs defenders that deserve a Pro Bowl nod this season.
Rashad Fenton has become one of the bright stars in this Chiefs secondary alongside L’Jarius Sneed. However, no one could have seen the rise in the level of play from Fenton for 2021. The #1 ranked cornerback in 2021 by Pro Football Focus, Fenton has played at an exceptional level and has turned up his stellar play throughout this undefeated November.
With an 86.5 coverage grade from PFF (which is a flawed, subjective grade) Fenton ranks just behind perennial All-Pro and Pro Bowler Jalen Ramsey. Fenton, playing over 60% of the defensive snaps every week since week 5 has made the most of his opportunity on the field, having only allowed 19 receptions on 29 targets.
However, no interceptions mean he’s not necessarily the ballhawk we all wish he was, but Fenton is a definite playmaker in the backend of this defense that deserves recognition. Even if the sample size is small, we can’t overlook his productivity, especially considering he plays on a Chiefs defense that is consistently getting the teams playing their hardest to take down the NFL’s darling.
While he may not receive a Pro Bowl nod this season due to how saturated the AFC is with high-level secondary talent, expect Fenton to continue to build on his 2021 success in 2022 and beyond.