The Patriots have faced Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill twice. It didn’t go well either time.
In 2017, Hill generated 133 yards on seven catches, plus a touchdown. Earlier this year, Hill gained 142 yards on seven catches, with three touchdowns. On Sunday, they’ll have to contain Hill if they hope to get to the Super Bowl for the fourth time in five years.
“He’s fast,” safety Patrick Chung told reporters on Thursday. “I mean, you guys have all seen it. We see the same things. He’s explosive. He’s an elite player. So, [we’ve ] got to try to contain them a little bit and see what we can do.”
Is there anyone in the NFL faster than Hill?
“Nope,” Chung said.
The Patriots have tried to prepare for Hill on their scout team. Cornerback Stephon Gilmore told reporters that “a couple guys” have been mimicking Hill’s speed, with a caveat.
“You can never really mimic his speed because he’s got great speed, but we just have to trust each other as a team and play fast and play physical,” Gilmore said, thereafter declining to identify the top guy who pretended to be Hill this week.
As Chris Simms mentioned on PFT Live, one way to mimic Hill’s speed will be to align him beyond the line of scrimmage, giving the scout-team Tyreek a head start.
One potential way to slow down Hill is to jam him at the line. But that also can be a problem.
“He’s got great speed,” Gilmore said. “You can get your hands on him and he can still run past you. Even when he gets the ball in his hands, he’s hard to tackle so everybody will have to do their job and play together as a team. . . . He can do it all.”
Indeed he can. And the Patriots will need to account for him and slow him down, if they hope to keep the Chiefs from scoring more points than New England’s offense can muster.