The Chiefs’ order of wide receiver targets comes into sharper focus with each game.
Jeremy Maclin remains the team’s top weapon, and was their leading receiver with six receptions in Sunday’s 10-3 victory over the Chargers at Arrowhead Stadium.
The second wide receiver in the progression is Albert Wilson, who turned in perhaps the best day of his two-year career.
Wilson caught passes for 87 yards, matching a career-best for yardage, and scored the game’s only touchdown.
His quick slant late in the second quarter turned into a 44-yard scoring reception and gave the Chiefs a 7-0 lead.
On the play, the Chargers had 10 the box and left the middle of the field open, which Alex Smith recognized when he broke the huddle. He checked into the play, and Wilson shuffled his feet to create space from cornerback Steve Williams.
Wilson broke inside, took the pass in stride, broke away from Williams’ arm swipe at his legs, and breezed to the end zone.
“Alex recognized the coverage and he did a great of making the call,” Wilson said. “I pretty much knew if I could get the position I got, it was going to be a good play.”
Weddle also sensed something big was about to happen.
“It was a good check by Alex,” said Chargers safety Eric Weddle. “We should have checked out of it, but shoot, they made the play. Good release by (Wilson).”
The play produced Wilson’s second NFL touchdown (he also provided the Chiefs’ only touchdown in the loss at Minnesota in October), but it wasn’t his most athletic play of the afternoon. That occurred earlier, on a third-and-14 from the Chiefs’ 33. Smith went over the top and hit a leaping Wilson for a 29-yard gain.
“Alex had the faith in (me) to go out and make a play,” Wilson said. “When you have an opportunity, you have to take advantage of it.”
Wilson hasn’t caught everything thrown his way. He came up just short of a long touchdown reception at Oakland the previous week. But the Chiefs continue to show faith in him. Wilson was targeted six times on Sunday, second to Maclin’s nine, and for the season his 25 receptions trails only Maclin (72) and tight end Travis Kelce (59).
“Obviously Jeremy has been playing great, lights out and been having a ton of catches,” Smith said. “I’ve just been telling Albert to stay ready, it’s coming.”
On Sunday, Wilson joined them as the only Chiefs with multiple touchdown receptions this season.
“The great thing about our offense,” Wilson said, “(is) the ball can go anywhere from running backs to tight ends to the receivers.”
Lately, the balls have been going to Wilson, and he’s been making the plays.