The Kansas City Chiefs knew they would be without their No. 1 receiver in Jeremy Maclin, who didn't practice all last week due to a groin injury, heading into Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers.
Others receivers would need to step up, but what happened next was somewhat of a pleasant surprise.
Tyreek Hill, the team's rookie fifth-round draft pick, was the player who answered the call for the Chiefs, putting up an eye-popping 10 receptions and 89 yards receiving on a team-leading 13 targets. The 10 receptions were a career high for Hill.
"Everything just came together," Hill said after the game. "Alex [Smith] got more comfortable. He started making plays."
Smith hit Hill once in the first quarter, twice in the second quarter, twice in the third quarter and five times as the Chiefs consummated their comeback in the fourth quarter. Smith threw to Hill three times as the Chiefs looked for the go-ahead field goal on their second-to-last drive.
Earlier in the game during the first quarter, when Hill looked to have a step on Carolina defenders, Smith aired it out to him 45 yards down the field.
That play resulted in an interception, but what it all means is telling. Just as Hill has earned the trust of his quarterback to make a play in a big spot, he's earned the confidence of a coaching staff that is increasing his playing time every week.
"He's continued to improve," Reid said of Hill on Monday afternoon. "We're asking him to do a ton of things and he just handles it. I've told you before I think he's a smart kid, shows up and does all the things that we're asking him to do."
That, along with being a key receiver in this offense, is serving as the team's primary punt returner.
As of Monday, Hill's 15.6 yards per return was second in the league only behind Washington's Jamison Crowder, and a few weeks back, he appeared on Around the NFL writer Chris Wesseling's Midseason All-Pro list.
Special teams coordinator Dave Toub was quick to agree with Wesseling's assessment.
"When you see teams kicking away from a guy and having a plan, you know where this guy is, and everybody watches the tape and sees how explosive he is," Toub said. "He's had some touchdowns called back, but I think everybody knows how good he is and how dangerous he is. We see it every day in practice so we're not surprised, but he's definitely playing at a Pro Bowl level."
As Hill maintains those impressive punt numbers, he leads all Chiefs receivers in receptions (32) and touchdowns (4).
"Whenever my number is called, I just go out there and try to get open every play," Hill added. "If the ball comes to me, I'm going to catch it and do my thing."
When you watch him on the field, he appears to be a player that can do things with his speed that maybe no one else in the league can, and his numbers, both on a game-by-game and season total-basis, are beginning to reflect that.
"What's that one sandwich shop [slogan] – he's freaky fast?" Reid asked. "He is freaky fast. He can giddy up and go, which doesn't hurt."