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Chiefs vs Bengals will feature NFL’s fastest men

DEC 08 Raiders at Chiefs
(Photo by William Purnell/Icon Sportswire)

When the Kansas City Chiefs travel this Saturday to play the Cincinnati Bengals the NFL will put on a display of speed that will be hard to match in 2017.

The two fastest players in the NFL will meet in Paul Brown Stadium. The Chiefs will have their starting wide receiver Tyreek Hill. He has been shown to be the fastest player in the NFL. On the opposing sideline, the Bengals will have a speed weapon of their own. According to reports, rookie John Ross of Washington will make his preseason debut against the Chiefs.  Ross set the new 40-yard dash record at the NFL combine earlier this spring.

Arguments have been continual this preseason over who is actually the fastest player. Recently, ESPN’s Matt Bowen did a film comparison where he was able to see functional speed times for both players. In that analysis, Hill came out on top as the number one fastest man in the NFL.

In reaction, critics have maligned the film analysis as a gross estimation. However, we have more recent times that we can use to get an accurate comparison.

Speed on Speed

During the 2016 season, Hill was clocked at 23.24 miles per hour on a 105-yard kick return against the San Diego Chargers. When that result is converted to yards per second we see Hill’s functional speed at 11.36 yds/sec.

At the 2017 NFL combine, Ross ran the record time of 4.22 seconds in the 40-yard dash. When we convert that to yards per second, we find Ross’s speed at 9.48 yards per second.

Additionally, there is a history of speed these players share. Both men ran track as well as playing football. Looking at their personal best track times, Hill comes out ahead again with a 100m time of 10.19 seconds. Comparatively, Ross was noticeably slower with a 100m time of 10.66. In this head to head comparison, Hill tops Ross with his 10.73 yds/sec speed to Ross’s 10.25 yds/sec.

At the end of the day, both these players have elite speed. Both are going to be focal points for their offenses. We got a clue as to Hill’s usage this week. Check back for more on that in our preview of preseason week 2 on Saturday.

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A University of Kansas grad, Ryan is an Exercise Physiologist and NSCA-certified Strength & Conditioning Coach and data analyst. Ryan founded Rogue Analytics Consulting and developed the Athletic Matrix TM. His focus is player evaluation, roster building, and team management. Ryan has lived in every city in the old AFC West, including Seattle. Follow @RyanTracyNFL for more Chiefs and NFL coverage.

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