KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Marcus Peters of the Kansas City Chiefs is having an award-filled week. After intercepting a pair of passes and returning one 90 yards for a touchdown in Sunday’s win over the Baltimore Ravens, Peters was named AFC defensive player of the week and selected to play in the Pro Bowl.
That probably won’t cause Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel in Sunday’s game against the Chiefs or other opposing passers to throw away from the rookie cornerback. At least that’s Peters’ wish.
“I hope they don’t," Peters said. “Keep coming at me.
“It helps us get a lot more turnovers and it helps us win games so that’s good.”
Opposing quarterbacks have tried to pick on Peters, which is why he’s given up so many yards and touchdowns, but he is also tied for the NFL lead in interceptions with seven.
Peters was the first of five players mentioned by Pro Football Focus as those who were picked to play in the Pro Bowl and don’t deserve the honor. Just from the stats, Peters doesn’t. According to PFF, Peters has had 123 passes thrown his way, highest among NFL cornerbacks.
Peters is second in yards allowed with 903 and tied for fourth in touchdowns yielded with seven
But the raw stats ignore the reality of what Peters has brought to the Chiefs, who have one of the NFL’s best defensive teams. Peters is the playmaker the Chiefs didn’t have in their secondary and he carries with him an attitude that is rubbing off on his teammates.
If you’re looking for stats with which to measure Peters’ contributions, the Chiefs had six interceptions last year and returned one for a touchdown. This year, through 14 games, they have 20 and scored on four of them.
That’s not all on Peters, but it’s an indication that his impact on Kansas City’s defense has been tremendous.
The Chiefs certainly weren't surprised when notified Peters would play in the Pro Bowl.
“I’m not really surprised because he told me this in camp," said safety Eric Berry, who will also play in the Pro Bowl. “He told me everything that he was going to do as far as on the field. We talked about it doing some extra drills after practice one day and he was just telling me everything he was going to do for the team and how he was going to come out and perform. And I believed every word of it because he has a lot of passion and you can see it in his eyes when he talks about football and what he wants to do on the field.
“That’s his character, that’s who he is. That’s not a façade, that’s not a front, that’s just the type of person he is. When you come in like that and you definitely back it up -- his confidence is not cocky, it’s not cocky at all. He believes in his skills, he believes in the work that he puts in and he just goes out and performs.”