Between fumble recoveries and interceptions, the Kansas City Chiefs finished the 2016 season with a league-leading 33 takeaways, including a tie for the NFL lead in picks with 18 (San Diego, Baltimore).
In this countdown, we look at the top five of the season.
No. 5: Peters Has a Knack For Picking Carr
With the Oakland Raiders already leading the Chiefs, 7-0, quarterback Derek Carr looked to score again as he dropped back on first-and-10 in the first quarter Week 6 against the Chiefs.
Peters explained after the game that noticing the pressure at the line was the key to the play.
“[Michael] Crabtree [WR] beat me on a double move, but I knew that [Derek Carr] wouldn’t be able to throw the ball that far,” Peters said. “I knew the ball was going to hang, so as soon as he got passed me, I just looked up.
“I trusted my instincts.”
No. 4: Dirty Dan is Fast
The New Orleans Saints’ Drew Brees, likely a future Pro Football Hall of Famer, is one of the best precision passers in the NFL.
But late in the first quarter Week 7, as his Saints faced third-and-12 at their own 39-yard line, the Chiefs defensive backs came through.
No. 3: Parker Only Needs One Hand
Tennessee’s Marcus Mariota ran a play-action pass as he aimed to get the Titans back in the game against the Chiefs.
It only took one hand for Chiefs safety
No. 2: Berry Begins
At No. 2, we get to the part of the countdown in which Eric Berry takes over.
With the Chiefs down 17-6 Week 10 in Carolina and Cam Newton threatening, they needed some kind of spark to get back in the game.
Berry picked the ball off at about the Carolina 40-yard line, and he reversed the entire field en route to a very impressive touchdown that provided the Chiefs with just that.
What made the play even more special is that Berry grew up with Newton, and it was the key play in a game the Chiefs ultimately won, 20-17.
No. 1: A Homecoming to Remember
Atlanta, Georgia, is the hometown of Berry, and not only that—it’s also where he underwent chemotherapy treatments, only blocks away from the Georgia Dome, home of the Falcons.
With less than a minute left in the first half, the Falcons were looking for a late score to break a 13-13 tie heading into halftime.
Quarterback Matt Ryan dropped back, looking for one of his receivers on a crossing pattern, when Berry came out of nowhere to snatch the ball.
He returned it 37 yards for the touchdown, and then he gave the ball to his mother sitting in the stands.
Later in the game, in the fourth quarter, winning the football game started to look grim for Kansas City. The Falcons had scored a touchdown to take a 28-27 lead and opted to go for 2 points in order to extend it to a field goal.
Ryan once again looked for a crossing pattern, and Berry once again seemingly came out of nowhere to intercept the football. This time he returned it 99 yards for the two-point score, the first “pick-two” in NFL history.
Officially on the stat sheet, the interception doesn’t count. It will forever be statistically a simple conversion. But for Chiefs fans and for Berry, it was certainly the best interception of the year and the game-winner.
That ball went to dad, and all three Berrys left the Georgia Dome happy.