Farewell, Cheetah: Tyreek Hill’s Top 5 plays with the KC Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs traded Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins earlier this week. Different conclusions about the decision and subsequent return are contradictory, but one thing will remain true: Hill made football fun in Kansas City.
Simply put, Hill was threatening to take him home every time he touched the ball. He may be the most explosive player in NFL history. Seeing Hill take his game to the next level when Patrick Mahomes took over as starting quarterback was something special. It was a pleasure to watch him play football for the Chiefs for the past six seasons.
It wasn’t easy to narrow this list down to a list of five, but here we go. Below are my top five plays from Hill’s time in Kansas City.
5. Season opener punt return touchdown against the Chargers
Hill began his career as a punt returner for the Chiefs his rookie season and picked up two returns for a touchdown that year. His returning role became less and less as he became a more dynamic weapon in the offensive game plan and got more play as a starting wide receiver. However, in Week 1 of the 2018 season, Hill scored the Chiefs’ first touchdown of the year on a 91-yard return that kicked off the Mahomes era of Chiefs football with a bang.
4. Huge first quarter ends with a back flip in the end zone
Hill had the best quarter by an individual player in NFL history against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020. 203 receiving yards, two touchdowns and a backflip in the end zone were to be seen. It was as close to perfect as you could get in a football quarterback.
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3. Fourth and 9
The Chiefs were in a battle with AFC rival Baltimore Ravens early in the team’s championship era. Although it was a game in the middle of the season, everyone knew that these teams would be in the playoffs and this could be a game that could decide the standings a little later. The Ravens had a 90% chance of winning the game heading into that 4th-and-9 game late in the fourth quarter. The Chiefs would win the game in overtime and earn the AFC No. 1 seed at the end of the regular season.
2. Clutch touchdown in the divisional round against the Bills
The Chiefs needed an incredible effort from Hill to beat the Bills in the 2022 AFC Divisional Round. 11 catches for 150 yards and a touchdown were the stats bottom line. Hill nearly took a punt from the distance in a play that set up the start of a wild back-and-forth fourth quarter. Hill played a role in the now infamous final 13 seconds of regulation that took the team to extra time. But it was the touchdown with just over a minute left in the fourth quarter that would be one of Hill’s last lasting memories in a Chiefs uniform. His electricity was on point and fans received a final sign of peace from the Cheetah in this highlight.
1. Jet Chip Wasp
The Chiefs’ offense had been mostly stagnant for three and a half quarters of Super Bowl LIV. He was third-and-15 with 7:13 left in the game as the Chiefs lost to the San Francisco 49ers 20-10. Then the Chiefs dialed in a play to hit their point guard on a long pass. It was ‘Jet Chip Wasp’, a piece that will live forever among Chiefs Kingdom. The game turned the momentum in favor of the Chiefs, and they closed out the last seven minutes of the game on a 21-0 run to beat the 49ers by a final score of 31-20. It was the Chiefs’ first Super Bowl win in 50 years, and Hill and this play played a huge part in it.
This article probably aroused a lot of emotions. As I wrote this and watched the accompanying videos, I went through a wide range of emotions. It included sadness, happiness, gratitude, pride, mindfulness, some disappointment, but mostly gratitude. It was a treat to watch Hill help transform the Chiefs from a pretty good team that was a playoff contender every year to a team that played four straight AFC Championship games.
Despite Hill’s departure to Miami, the Chiefs still have plenty of pieces in place to remain a contender. This trade can prepare them for the next window of the Mahomes era. The first window of the Mahomes era of Chiefs football is over, but now a new one begins. It’s sad to see such great players go, but knowing there’s still a lot of good football left in Kansas City is encouraging.
Thanks for the memories, Tyreek.