In a fascinating turn of events, the Kansas City Chiefs have been propelled by their defense this season.
And it was their defense, and defensive back L’Jarius Sneed, that might have locked up a spot for them in Super Bowl 58.
Early in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s AFC Championship Game the Chiefs were leading 17-7, but the Baltimore Ravens offense was finally showing some life. Quarterback Lamar Jackson connected with rookie wide receiver Zay Flowers for a 54-yard gain, and while the rookie was flagged for taunting after the play, it gave Baltimore their best chance of the second half to cut into the Chiefs’ lead:
Flowers made up for the mental mistake a few plays later, picking up 14 yards on a crossing route to set the Ravens up with a 1st and 10 at the Kansas City 11-yard line. After a two-yard gain, the Ravens faced a 2nd and 9 at the Chiefs’ 8-yard line. That’s when Jackson connected with Flowers again, and it looked as if the rookie plunged into the end zone with a critical touchdown for Baltimore.
However, Sneed had other ideas:
As you can see from this angle, as Flowers dives ahead for the goal line, Sneed manages to punch the ball out just shy of the end zone:
If the Chiefs do advance to Super Bowl 58 their defense — and this play from Sneed — will be a huge reason why.