Here's one way to cure dropped passes

December, 5, 2013
12/05/13
4:35
PM ET
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- If the Kansas City Chiefs are serious about reducing their number of dropped passes, as they should be, I have an idea for them: play Junior Hemingway more at wide receiver.

Hemingway is Kansas City's most reliable receiver when it comes to catching the ball. According to the insightful numbers from Pro Football Focus, Hemingway has caught all seven of the catchable passes thrown his way by quarterback Alex Smith. Not one dropped pass.

Hemingway will certainly drop a pass the more the ball heads his way. But the Chiefs are still going to be ahead playing Hemingway, who can play any of the receiving positions, giving the Chiefs no excuse not to find more playing time for him.

"We’re throwing a lot at him,'' offensive coordinator Doug Pederson said. "We’re putting him in different spots. We’re giving him the flanker spot, we’re giving him the slot spot and we’re giving him the split end spot. He’s done a nice job of handling that.''

Among the Chiefs' other wide receivers, seldom used Chad Hall also hasn't dropped a pass but he's had only one catchable ball thrown his way. Dexter McCluster has four drops, or 8.7 percent of the catchable passes thrown his way. Dwayne Bowe has five drops (10 percent), Donnie Avery 5 (12.82 percent) and A.J. Jenkins 2 (28.57 percent).

Avery dropped two deep passes and Jenkins one in last week's loss to the Denver Broncos. If they had made those catches, it's possible that today we're all talking about how Smith outgunned Peyton Manning and, more importantly, whether the Chiefs would hold on to first place in the AFC West after this Sunday's game against the Redskins in Washington.

Avery and Jenkins are the fastest of the Chiefs' receivers and that deep speed, something Hemingway doesn't have, is important. The Chiefs have to be careful in taking that off their field.

Hemingway might not get open as often. But when he does he will catch the ball, and what good is getting open if you can't do that?

Adam Teicher

ESPN Kansas City Chiefs reporter

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