The game was tied. Then it wasn’t.
An Eric Fisher hold, something Travis Kelce was very, very salty about, negated the Kansas City Chiefs’ initial two-point conversion, one that would’ve tied the game at 18.
It moved the Chiefs back to their 12 with another crack at it.
And Keith Butler’s playcall helped define the shift in the defensive philosophy. Because they’re as much as a Cover 2 team now as they are the Cover 3 team under Dick LeBeau. For this call, the final defensive one, Butler rolled out his Cover 2.
His split safety calls are really common near the goal line. We covered his Cover 4 usage against immobile quarterbacks before, leading to interceptions each of the past two seasons. We don’t get that here, still a four man rush because Alex Smith is much more mobile, but a straight Cover 2 with split safeties.
We don’t get a great shot from NBC of the play but here’s the end zone view. Corners reroute #1 inside, safeties play the deep half, the middle linebacker drops as the hole player in the middle, with the other linebackers dropping into hook zones.
Kansas City is looking to run a levels concept to the right. A dig route underneath, couple yards shy of the goal line, by the #2 receiver, and a post to the back of the end zone by the #1.
William Gay correctly drives on #1. It leaves rookie Sean Davis to squeeze the throw to #2 on the post.
The beauty of playing Cover 2 in the red zone is the lack of a vertical threat. Davis is able to play with a flat foot read and get eyes on the route and QB, driving on any throw. He does and Lawrence Timmons comes from the middle hole to make it a tight window.
Davis breaks it up and the Chiefs never get the ball back.
It’s a fantastic play and a nice moment of redemption for Davis, who was flagged on the goal line for a shot to the head of Chris Conley. That was a tough spot to be in, a bang-bang moment, but the correct call. And I’m sure he would’ve felt sick to his stomach had the Chiefs tied things up and potentially won the game.
He was named the team’s rookie of the year. And in that moment, made the play of the year.