The standards are raised for the NFL playoffs, as the opposition gets better and the spotlight gets brighter. Some players struggle at this time of year, while others embrace the added pressure. Those are traits that can be the difference between a Super Bowl winner and a possible early exit.
This is the time of year when underperforming players need to shake that off, and unheralded players need to play their best. Here are five players who need to step it up in the playoffs for a better chance of team success.
5. Kendall Fuller, DB, Chiefs
The Chiefs lost Juan Thornhill to a torn ACL in the season’s final game, which is a brutal blow for a defense that always seems to have issues even when the team is winning. That brings up the question of how the Chiefs will replace him. Versatile defensive back Kendall Fuller is likely to get some run in Thornhill’s place. Fuller has been a bit of a disappointment since Kansas City traded for him, but this is a chance to step into a larger role and help the Chiefs when they need it the most.