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Stock Watch: Which Chiefs Are Trending After Win vs. Broncos?

Of all the players on the Chiefs' roster, which ones are finding a way to stand out ahead of the team's Week 14 matchup against the Raiders?

At 8-4, the Kansas City Chiefs are winners of five games in a row. The team is currently in sole possession of first place in a competitive AFC West and is trying to keep pace with the conference's elite for a top playoff seed. In the team's 22-9 Week 13 win over the Denver Broncos, plenty transpired that left several players trending in the right and wrong directions. Let's take a look and dive into the newest edition of Chiefs stock watch.

Stock Up

Daniel Sorensen/Juan Thornhill

In the Chiefs' win on Sunday, Sorensen and Thornhill recorded interceptions for Steve Spagnuolo's defense. It's been a rollercoaster of a year for both Chiefs safeties, as Sorensen began the season as a starter before being benched in favor of Thornhill. Against the Broncos, the former picked off a Teddy Bridgewater pass and returned it for a touchdown. The latter had his pick, in addition to six tackles and a pass broken up. To see the duo of Sorensen and Thornhill have a good game is a great development for the Chiefs' defense. The secondary as a whole is playing terrific football right now, and the contributions of these two have contributed to that in a major way.

Jarran Reed

When Reed was signed in the offseason as a potential replacement for Chris Jones while Jones worked on the outside of the Chiefs' defensive line, many were skeptical. They turned out to be right when Jones wasn't as good as advertised as a defensive end and Reed struggled in the interior. With an All-Pro alongside him for the last several weeks, though, Reed is playing the best football of his brief Chiefs tenure. Not only is he making a difference as a reliable run defender, but he's also providing some juice as a pass-rusher. The Chiefs' defensive line went from a red flag to a strength, and Reed's a large part of that. 

Willie Gay Jr.

Gay started the 2021 campaign on the injured reserve list and since returning to the team, he's made a tangible difference. His range, decisiveness and athleticism all play well and manage to stand out amongst his peers. Gay had one of his best games as a Chief against the Broncos, recording eight tackles and even getting half a sack. He also dropped what likely would have been a pick-six. The Chiefs have been looking for a do-it-all linebacker for years, and they may have found one in Gay. The dividends in year two are positive.

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Stock Down

Travis Kelce

Kelce is still the best tight end in the game, but he hasn't played up to expectations in 2021. Part of that is because of nagging injuries, and another part of that is the "halo" technique defenses are unleashing against him. Opposing units aren't offering free releases and instead are getting very physical with Kelce early and often, and he hasn't benefitted from some of the calls other receivers may get. Kelce's receptions and yards have declined in each of his past three games so for now, he finds himself in this section. All it takes is one bounce-back performance for that to change. 

The Chiefs' wide receiver room

Speaking of Chiefs receivers trending downward, pretty much every option outside of Demarcus Robinson had a poor showing or was given limited opportunities against the Broncos. Tyreek Hill was a relative non-factor and both Mecole Hardman and Josh Gordon saw their snaps decrease. Drops were a big reason why the Chiefs' offense struggled, and that reflects directly upon those being thrown the ball. If Kansas City is going to get back on track through the air, their weapons have to be more effective moving forward. 

Stocks to Watch

Patrick Mahomes

Statistically, last week's game was a bad one for Mahomes. The superstar quarterback completed 15 of his 29 pass attempts for 184 yards, no touchdowns and a single interception. When factoring in the aforementioned drops, though, it's easy to reason that his numbers would've looked much better had his receivers cooperated. Mahomes has experienced an up-and-down year, but he had a statement performance during his last game vs. the Las Vegas Raiders. It'll be worth watching to see if he can replicate that level of performance when the Chiefs host them this week.

Deandre Baker

Baker hasn't played as large of a role as many anticipated in 2021, but his most recent game may have been his best one as a member of the Chiefs. Not only did he play a whopping 51% of the team's defensive snaps, but he also got some run with the special teams unit. In all, Baker recorded four tackles and a pass broken up in Week 13 and looked genuinely comfortable against some very solid Broncos receivers. Mike Hughes was the recipient of significant cornerback playing time earlier in the year but if Baker sustains this level of play, the fourth spot on the depth chart is his to lose.

Read More: The Chiefs Are Still in the Hunt for the Top Seed in the AFC