The second-year safety is a Superbowl champion. However, he didn’t get to play in the game against the 49ers. There is a possibility he feels as if he did not earn it.

Due to a torn ACL last season, Juan Thornhill missed a once in a lifetime opportunity to play in the biggest football game ever. While his teammates were securing a win, he was on crutches on the sideline.

This year has not been the best for Thornhill. He did not get as much playing time as I’m sure he would have liked. Some of that can be due to the injury he is returning from. Some of that can also be because of the players ahead of him.

While Daniel Sorenson makes big plays every game, he did not play as well as Thornhill on Sunday. As a matter of fact, no Chiefs defenders had a better-graded game than Juan Thornhill.

Juan Thornhill, Chiefs Defense
Dec 29, 2019; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid and staff tend to an injured free safety Juan Thornhill (22) during the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Juan Thornhill Elevates Chiefs Defense to a Win

On Sunday, Juan Thornhill had the best game of his season. He was the highest-graded defensive player by Pro Football Focus and could have been higher had some plays gone his way.

As a Free Safety, Thornhill gets called to the line a few times a game. In fact, he took two pass-rush snaps and eight-run defense snaps. In that area, he grades at 60, which is not too bad for a safety.

The area he excelled in the most would be coverage, where he graded at 82.9 on 45 snaps. Let’s just say that Thornhill put in work on defense against Buffalo.

Coming into the game, the Bills have the third-ranked offense. Of course, Kansas City had to quite all the hater with this performance. Juan Thornhill did a little of that on his own while guarding some of the league’s best receivers.

Against Cole Beasley, Juan Thornhill saw three targets and only allowed one reception for six yards. He also had a pass deflection and almost an interception had he kept the ball in his hands while landing.

Against Stefon Diggs, it was much of the same story. Diggs has had an impressive season nonetheless, but Juan Thornhill had to end it earlier than planned.

Diggs was targeted once with Thornhill in his coverage area and still failed to bring it in. Let’s not forget the drop that Stefon Diggs had as well.

If Juan Thornhill can keep up this type of play, he will have his chance to make a significant impact in Tampa. He might even get to do snow angels in the confetti.

Featured Image Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports