Assigning first-quarter letter grades to the Kansas City Chiefs

Some Chiefs are getting off to a hot start and some have plenty of room to grow. Let's divvy out some grades through the first four weeks of the season.

Detroit Lions v Kansas City Chiefs
Detroit Lions v Kansas City Chiefs / David Eulitt/GettyImages
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Grade: B

  • Quarterback, Patrick Mahomes
  • Wide receiver, Rashee Rice
  • Defensive end, Mike Danna
  • Nose tackle, Derrick Nnadi
  • Wide receiver, Justin Watson

Patrick Mahomes has set the bar so high for himself, especially after winning the Super Bowl on one ankle, that he is graded on a massive curve. Many of his issues so far this season stem from some shaky offensive line play and wide receivers flat-out playing bad football. His 8 to 4 touchdown to interception ratio is not his norm and I expect it to improve. He is still getting a “B” because he is 10th in yards and fifth in touchdowns in the league. 

Rashee Rice leads the wide receiving core in targets with 19 and receptions with 13. No one saw that trend coming this early in the season and with him being the only one stepping up in a big way, his volume should increase. He is good for a drop per game, knocking him down to a “B,” but he is erasing the notion that a rookie cannot contribute in an Andy Reid offense. You can live with the drops with steady production they are not getting from anyone else. 

Mike Danna is earning himself a nice little payday. He is in a contract season and has increased his productivity every single season and that trend has continued. He is second on the team in sacks with 2.5 and has caused the previous forgone conclusion that this team needs to bring Carlos Dunlap back to go away. He is on pace for a 10-sack season. 

Derrick Nnadi is enjoying a bounce-back season, so much so that the Chiefs are electing to keep him as the only one-tech nose tackle on the active roster most games. He is on pace for over 46 tackles, which he has not had since 2020. He also has zero missed tackles this season. In 2022, he only tallied 25 tackles. 

Justin Watson has not done anything spectacular, but he leads the Chiefs in receiving yards with 163. Many folks, including myself, would not have had any issues with the Chiefs cutting him in August. Instead, he is third on the team in wide receiver snaps. Hopefully, he is not leading the Chiefs in yards for long, because he is limited, but he absolutely deserves a spot on this team.