The Kansas City Chiefs are one of the most talented teams in all of football – as evidenced by back-to-back AFC titles and a world championship two seasons ago – and that was once again reflected in the annual "NFL Top 100" rankings that wrapped up on Saturday.
The rankings – which were voted on by the players themselves – featured five members of the Chiefs this year, including two in the top five and possession of the top overall spot, which went to quarterback Patrick Mahomes for the first time in his career.
Mahomes is compiling a truly unprecedented career as far as the league is concerned, throwing for more touchdowns (114) and passing yards (14,152) than any other quarterback through 46 games in NFL history. He's the youngest quarterback in league history to already own both an NFL MVP and Super Bowl MVP, and in three years as a starter, the Chiefs have never finished shy of the AFC Championship Game.
Additionally, the Chiefs have won 38 games since Mahomes took over as the starter in 2018, which is tied for the most wins in the NFL.
Here's a portion of what NFL.com Digital Content Producer Michael Baca had to say about Mahomes in his breakdown of the Top 100:
"Everything Mahomes does on the football field seems to have an exciting appeal, and at just 25-years-old, he's being recognized as the NFL's best player with plenty of time to get even better."
Joining Mahomes just a few spots later at No. 5 in the rankings was tight end Travis Kelce, who has established himself as one of the top pass-catchers in the NFL regardless of position.
Already statistically one of the greatest tight ends to ever play the position – his 1,416 receiving yards in 2020 were the most in a single season by a tight end in league history – Kelce's production goes beyond just his peers at his position and rivals the top wide receivers in the game.
Since 2018, Kelce has tallied the second-most receiving yards (3,981) and the fourth-most catches (305) of any player in the NFL. His 213 receiving first downs also rank second, trailing only Cardinals' wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, while his 31 receptions of 25+ yards rank sixth.
Here's a portion of Baca's analysis of Kelce:
"The 31-year-old's consistent production is also entering historic proportions, becoming the only TE to log five 1,000-yard seasons and the only one with multiple 100-catch seasons in NFL history. Kelce is also the only player in the NFL with 90-plus receptions and 1,200-plus receiving yards in each of the last three seasons."
To punctuate Baca's point even further, Kelce tallied his record-setting, five 1,000-yard seasons consecutively. In fact, only the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Mike Evans has matched Kelce's five 1,000-yard seasons since 2016.
Together, Mahomes and Kelce formed the only pair of teammates to land in the top five.
The next member of the Chiefs to appear in the rankings was wide receiver Tyreek Hill, who checked in at No. 15. Arguably the most explosive player in the game, Hill ranks first in the NFL over the last three seasons in grabs of 25+ yards (45), second in receiving touchdowns (34) and seventh in receiving yards (3,615). Additionally, on throws of at least 20 yards downfield, Hill leads the NFL in receptions (56), receiving yards (2,240), receiving touchdowns (25) and yards-per-target (19.1) since 2017.
Here's what Baca had to say about Hill:
"After five playoff-rich seasons, the 27-year-old is starting to prove his consistency when it matters most. In three playoff games last year, Hill caught 21 balls for 355 yards and was a major factor in getting the Chiefs to their second consecutive Super Bowl. Regarded as the fastest player in the NFL, the 5-foot-10 ball of fire reigns as an elite downfield threat who requires the attention of more than one opposing defensive back. Hill improves seven spots in the Top 100 for his highest ranking yet."
The defense was represented with the Chiefs' next selection, as defensive lineman Chris Jones appeared at No. 34. One of the top pass-rushers in the NFL regardless of position, Jones has established himself as an elite defensive tackle capable of wrecking a game. Since 2018, Jones ranks fourth in the NFL in quarterback hits (77) and seventh in sacks (32) among all players, racking up at least 60 pressures in each of those seasons.
NFL.com Digital Content Producer Jelani Scott's breakdown of Jones' abilities was simple enough:
"Apart from that other behemoth in L.A. [defensive tackle Aaron Donald], you'd be hard-pressed to find a more reliable interior defender than Jones."
Jones may be in store for his best year yet, too, as he's set to play a significant number of snaps as an edge rusher in 2021.
Rounding out the Chiefs' selections this year was All-Pro safety Tyrann Mathieu, who checked in at No. 58.
One of the best defensive backs in the NFL, Mathieu has tallied 10 interceptions in his two seasons with Kansas City – the most among safeties in that span – while recording 21 passes defensed. Additionally, opposing quarterbacks registered a 70.5 passer rating in Mathieu's coverage last season, which was the sixth-best mark among safeties who played at least 80 percent of their team's snaps.
His versatility is also something to behold. According to Pro Football Focus, Mathieu tallied 345 snaps at slot corner, 301 snaps in the box, 224 snaps at free safety, 44 snaps on the line of scrimmage and 15 snaps at outside corner in 2020. He can play just about anywhere at an elite level, prompting NFL.com Senior Analyst Gil Brandt to call Mathieu one of the most versatile players in all of football.
Here's what Scott had to say about Mathieu:
"Which 2020 All-Pro safety is the only player to record at least 100 tackles and 10 picks since 2019? Yup, that's right: none other than Mathieu himself, who tallied 62 tackles and a career-best six picks in 2020. This stat not only encapsulates the Honey Badger's vaunted versatility, but it also showcases the two-time Pro Bowler's incredible value to the Chiefs."
The Chiefs' collective representation just goes to show how talented this squad is as they prepare for another run at the Super Bowl.