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Countdown: The Chiefs Top Five Special Teams Plays in 2014

What were the best special teams plays last season for the Kansas City Chiefs?

Of the Chiefs 16 games this season, eight were decided by just one possession.

While special teams are always a critical part of a team's success, when that many games hang in the balance of just one score, the importance for that given team only magnifies.

Here are the top five special teams moments of the 2014 campaign:

  1. Gaines Toes the Line

The second half of Monday Night Football opened up with the Chiefs holding a 17-0 lead against the New England Patriots.

On their first possession of the half, the Chiefs drive stalled at the New England 38-yard line, and Dustin Colquitt lined up to punt.

The wonderfully kicked punt bounced at the 7-yard line, then into the hands of Phillip Gaines at the 1-yard line. Gaines tiptoed the goal line and shoveled the ball backwards into the hands of wide receiver Junior Hemingway.

  1. DAT and the Chiefs Strike First on the Punt Return

It was Week 15 and the Chiefs needed to win their first of three straight games in order to clinch a postseason berth.

The Kansas City offense had already possessed the ball twice, but it was unsuccessful on both drives. The defense held Derek Carr and the Raiders on third-and-20, and Oakland punter Marquette King line up at the 24-yard line.

King booted the ball and De'Anthony Thomas caught the punt right at the Chiefs 19-yard line. Kelcie McCray had the first block to give Thomas a window to run, and Daniel Sorensen gave another in order for him to keep it open. Thomas was off.

Junior Hemingway's final block of the King gave Thomas the final room he needed, and the Chiefs went up 7-0 early in a game that would end 31-13 Chiefs.

Photos of the best special teams plays from 2014.

  1. Knile Davis Starts the Second Half in a Big Way

The only kick return touchdown of the season for the Chiefs came against the St. Louis Rams at Arrowhead Stadium in Week 8.

With the Chiefs up 10-7 to open the second half, Knile Davis received the ball at the 1-yard line on a bounce.

Davis saw an open lane to his right and darted up the field, and after picking up a key block by James-Michael Johnson, he ran 99 yards en route to his touchdown.

The Chiefs took a 17-7 lead on the play and eventually won the game, 34-7.

  1. Sherman and Wilson Save the Game

Circumstances were bleak in the Week 10 matchup against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Down 13-10 with less than 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Dustin Colquitt lined up to punt from the Kansas City 16-yard line.

Colquitt boomed the ball to the Buffalo 31-yard line, and Albert Wilson tackled Bills returner Leodis McKelvin. As McKelvin was going down to the ground, Anthony Sherman came in and batted the ball from his grasp and then recovered his own fumble.

The Chiefs scored their game-winning touchdown on the ensuing drive.

  1. Cairo's Welcome-to-the-NFL Moment

After missing two out of the first four field goals of his career against Tennessee and Denver, it's fair to say that there were doubts among media members and fans regarding Andy Reid's decision to go with rookie kicker Cairo Santos out of training camp.

That only had to add to the pressure on Santos' shoulders in Week 7 when with 26 seconds left on the clock, he was asked to kick a 48-yard field goal to likely win the game. 

Right before Chiefs long snapper Thomas Gafford could snap the ball, Chargers head coach Mike McCoy called a timeout. Santos held up before kicking.

To this point, the longest field goal of Santos' professional career had been 45 yards four weeks earlier. This would be the new longest.

After a short pause, Santos lined up again. On the kick, the ball started out wide right and curled just in the right upright, and the Chiefs won the game, 23-20.

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