Wide receiver Jerry Jeudy had a career day against the Chiefs on Sunday, totaling eight receptions for 73 yards and three touchdowns — and to The Athletic’s Nick Kosmider, his performance was a sign of more success to come.
"Each touchdown catch by the third-year Broncos wide receiver came on a play in the red zone, and on each occasion, Jeudy demonstrated how his knack for creating separation can beat defenders even in the crowded real estate around the goal line," Kosmider wrote.
With Jeudy switching to the X position in Courtland Sutton's absence, Kosmider noted that the increased man coverage he faced against the Chiefs played to the third-year wide receiver's strengths. Per TruMedia and Pro Football Focus, Jeudy's 4.67 yards per route when facing man coverage rank first in the NFL, as do his 23.3 yards per reception against man coverage.
"His distance of separation at times is pretty incredible," Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett said. "To be able to get him on the move, to be able to motion him and to be able to have him go one-on-one, there are a lot of people that once they try to press him or try to go one-on-one with him, he can do some pretty unique things."
Jeudy still faced a decent amount of zone coverage against Kansas City, and Kosmider noted that he showed significant improvement over his performance in that area through much of the season. His 1.21 yards per route against zone coverage ranks 110th in the NFL, but on Sunday, he caught all five of his targets for 43 yards.
"It's that context that made Jeudy's big afternoon against the Chiefs all the more encouraging," Kosmider wrote.
In both Jeudy's production in the end zone and his success against zone coverage on some more nondescript plays, Kosmider noted that the wide receiver has shown an ability to reach the height of his potential.
"Jeudy is only 23, nearing the end of his third season in the NFL," Kosmider wrote. "His performance Sunday, one that went beyond the frequent end-zone dances, showed he might be starting to round his position's steep learning curve.
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While the Broncos are officially out of playoff contention following their loss to the Chiefs, the players and coaches still have plenty of motivation with just four games left on the schedule.
"One of the things that we've talked a lot about is control what we can control," Hackett said. "You're always going to control your attitude and your effort. That's something that 'Russ' [quarterback Russell Wilson] talks about all the time. I think everything is being evaluated always. Every single person in this organization is always being evaluated, whether you're in the playoffs or not. It's about how you handle everything, how you approach your job every single day, how you attack the field on practices and meetings, and everything. It is a challenge. It's hard when you don't have a chance to go to the playoffs. We are professionals and we're out here to win every day."