Rookie Tyreek Hill Thriving in Primetime, Reminds Him of "Friday Night Lights"

Hill has done well under the lights

In three primetime games this season, Kansas City Chiefs rookie playmaker and fifth-round pick Tyreek Hill has scored six of his 10 total touchdowns.

So in 21 percent of his games (3 of 14), Hill has scored 60 percent of his touchdowns (6 of 10), or, to put another way, Hill has scored four touchdowns in 11 games that weren't under the lights.

When asked what it is about playing in primetime, Hill wasn't exactly sure why, but said he knows everyone is watching, including the most important person.

"I guess I just feel like it's Friday night lights going back to the high school days," Hill explained when speaking with the media on Wednesday afternoon. "I always think it's fun to play under the lights because that's when everybody is watching. It's the last game on TV.

"I know my mom is watching, so I have to show out for her."

Hill's 10 total touchdowns this season put him just three shy of breaking the franchise record of touchdowns in a rookie season, which was set by Abner Haynes (12) back in 1960.

Hill was named a Pro Bowler on Wednesday as a "returner," but with his production in the offense steadily growing over the course of the season, quarterback Alex Smith has been impressed with how Hill has handled everything. 

Tyreek Hill's 2016 Season (Offense)

Category

First 8 Games

Last 6 Games

Targets

28

43

Receptions

22

34

Yards Receiving

224

313

Touchdowns REC

4

2

Carries

8

7

Yards Rushing

45

112

Touchdowns RUSH

0

2

 "He performs big any time he's out there," Smith explained. "It never seems too big even going back to minicamp and OTAs. He's handled and prepared himself very well. He's obviously extremely talented. He's a difference-maker, and he continues to show that all over the place whether it be special teams, running back or receiver.

"He can do a lot. Really that's a credit to him—not just talent-wise but from a mental side of it as well. Handling all of that as a rookie is really hard."

With Hill taking a handoff last week 68 yards for a touchdown against the Titans, Chiefs coach Andy Reid was asked about the potential to give Hill even more carries moving forward.

"You have to stay very disciplined on keeping the package small because you have him at wide receiver, you have him at running back, you have him in the slot position – we've got him playing all over the place," Reid explained. "He's a smart kid, but you start getting into a bad area there. Then, he's returning on top of that too.

"He works hard at what he does, and tries to stay up on all this stuff that we have fed him. He's done well with it."

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