In a game full of standout defensive plays by the Chiefs, cornerback Jamell Fleming's pass breakup in the second quarter on a Derek Carr third-down pass attempt may have been the best.
The Raiders had captured a bit of momentum after a missed Chiefs field goal and it was Fleming's play on third down, combined with a nice blitz call by defensive coordinator Bob Sutton and subsequent execution by the rest of Fleming's defensive teammates that made the play happen.
"I thought he did well," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said of Fleming's performance on Sunday. "I thought he played strong and attacked the ball. He was aggressive with the ball in the air. It looked like he was transitioning out of his breaks pretty good.
"He had a couple of nice tackles, had a physical one right there in the end where he picked the guy up and put him down and disallowed a couple of first downs on third-down tackles which was good."
Making just his third start after dealing with hamstring issues much of the season, Fleming took advantage of the opportunity.
He played 78 of the 80 snaps on defense, which was the most for any Chiefs defender, and he finished with a team-high and career-high of eight tackles and two passes defensed.
"I was just happy that I was able to get back on the field feeling healthy," he said.
Drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the third round of the 2012 draft out of Oklahoma, the 5-foot-11, 206-pound Fleming had three starts in his rookie season before ending up on the Baltimore Ravens practice squad earlier this year by way of the Jacksonville Jaguars (2013).
Fleming was signed to the Chiefs 53-man roster off the Ravens practice squad back in September.
"I was excited, of course. Being able to get on the 53-man roster anywhere is just a blessing," Fleming said of the news that he was coming to Kansas City. "I got on the plane and just couldn't wait to be here."
When asked why Sutton's defensive scheme is a good fit for him, Fleming made it simple.
"Because we run a lot of man-on-man coverage," he said. "When you're man-on-man, you're by yourself, you've got to win your play, your down, that's how we work.
"My mindset is just being aggressive, every snap, every play, just being aggressive. That's just something I pride myself on."
Photos from the Chiefs Week 15 matchup against the Raiders
According to Pro Football Focus, Fleming was targeted a team-high 13 times by the Raiders on Sunday and allowed just five catches for 59 yards, which came out to a quarterback rating of 53.
When asked if Sunday was the best game of his career, Fleming stopped short of patting himself on the back just yet.
"It ranks pretty high, but it was just my third start here for the Chiefs. Right now, it ranks pretty high."
Fleming and the Chiefs prepare this week for the Pittsburgh Steelers, who boast one of the NFL's best passing offenses led by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and receiver Antonio Brown.