By Matt McMullen – Chiefs.com
The Kansas City Chiefs will hopefully be preparing for Super Bowl LVI during the weekend of the 2022 Pro Bowl, but it still means something to be recognized as one of the top players in the sport.
That was certainly the case for several members of the Chiefs on Wednesday, as six players earned nods to the annual all-star game: quarterback Patrick Mahomes, wide receiver Tyreek Hill, tight end Travis Kelce, left tackle Orlando Brown Jr., safety Tyrann Mathieu and defensive lineman Chris Jones.
It marks a fourth-consecutive spot on the Pro Bowl roster for Mahomes, who has thrown for 4,052 yards and 30 touchdowns this season. The 2018 NFL MVP joined Peyton Manning as the only two players in NFL history to throw for 25+ touchdowns and 4,000+ yards in four of their first five seasons as a professional, and keep in mind that Mahomes only played in one game during his rookie year.
Mahomes’ favorite target all season long has been Hill, whose 102 catches this season are just three shy of the single-season franchise record. He’s racked up 1,178 receiving yards – the fourth-most in the league – and nine touchdowns this season, recording at least 60 yards in nine of his 14 games played. The speedy playmaker has now earned a Pro Bowl nod in each of his six seasons in the NFL.
Hill’s production has been mirrored by Kelce, who was invited to his seventh-straight Pro Bowl after surpassing the 1,000-yard mark during Thursday’s victory over Los Angeles. The veteran pass-catcher is just the 19th player in NFL history to record six-straight 1,000-yard seasons, and he’s the first tight end to ever do so. Together, Hill and Kelce are the only teammates to each rank in the top 10 across the NFL in receiving yards heading into Week 16.
Mahomes’ ability to distribute the ball to both Hill and Kelce has been due in part to the efforts of Brown at left tackle. An offseason acquisition from the Baltimore Ravens, Brown has started all 14 of Kansas City’s games on Mahomes’ blindside and has performed well, yielding just four sacks on the season. Additionally, Brown’s 983 snaps this season rank third among all offensive tackles.
Defensively, Mathieu earned Pro Bowl honors for a second-straight season on Wednesday. The All-Pro defensive back has three interceptions this season while once again demonstrating his immense versatility throughout the year, lining up in the box, at free safety and at slot corner more than 150 times each this season.
Joining Mathieu on the defensive roster is Jones, whose 39 pressures since Week 8 rank fourth in the NFL. The veteran pass-rusher has a team-leading seven sacks this season and has at least five pressures in each of his last five games, including a 10-pressure performance against Las Vegas in Week 14.
All six of the Chiefs’ representatives have played a critical role in Kansas City’s seven-game winning streak, and while these individual honors are more than deserved, this group has their collective focus on a much larger goal moving forward.
2022 Pro Bowl Alternates: Joe Thuney, Creed Humphrey, Frank Clark, Tommy Townsend, Michael Burton, Charvarius Ward, Harrison Butker and Trey Smith