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Remembering Top Blocks from 2017: Sealing Edges, Flipping Blitzers and More

The plays that don't get enough credit

While the Kansas City Chiefs' 2017 season didn't finish the way anyone wanted, there were still plenty of moments throughout the year that we're always going to remember.

And over the next two weeks, we'll continue to look at those moments—from fantastic individual performances to dominant stands on one side of the ball.

In this edition, we're taking a look back at the most memorable blocks from last season:

Here are five of the most memorable blocks from last season:

  1. The offensive line gets it done on Kareem Hunt's touchdown against the Eagles

Early in the Week 2 game against the Eagles, rookie running back Kareem Hunt had carried the ball seven times for a total of just nine yards, but thanks to key blocks from left tackle Eric Fisher and left guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Hunt took his eighth handoff off the left side of the line and raced 53 yards for the touchdown—showing off the speed that had him clocked as the fastest player in the NFL in Week 1 against the Patriots.

Duvernay-Tardif pulled around and kicked out safety Malcolm Jenkins, who was playing in the box and had his attention on tight end Travis Kelce, who was lined up inline and helped block the edge as well.

Fisher took the defensive end, who was lined up outside his shoulder and just carried him down the line—where his momentum was already headed.

The combination of those two blocks opened a beautiful lane for Hunt, who took care of the rest.

  1. Travis Kelce and Eric Fisher seal the edge late against the Patriots

With the Chiefs leading the Patriots by a score of 35-27 with just 4:15 left in the game, they faced a first-and-10 from their own 21-yard line. They would need to put together a few first downs and try to run out the clock to pick up the win.

The odds are never good to give a guy like Tom Brady a chance to come back with a game-winning (or tying) drive.

So, on first down, the Chiefs elected to run a quick pitch on outside zone to Kareem Hunt off the left side of the offensive line—where they had three tight ends lined up in a tight bunch formation.

After the snap, Travis Kelce and Eric Fisher both jumped out and led the way for Hunt down the left side, and after Fisher's key block to get things going, Kelce cleaned up the defensive back and allowed Hunt to race 58 yards down the left side for one of the key plays that helped deliver a signature win for the Chiefs last year.

  1. The running backs show they aren't afraid to stick their nose in there

Both Charcandrick West and Kareem Hunt had blitz pickups last year that should end up on their career highlight reels.

The first one—West's—resulted in a Texans' defensive back flipping end over end in Week 5 and is most-impressive in slow motion.

Hunt's pickup on the road against the Raiders has made its way to several highlight reels already, but most of those are because of the result of the play—Alex Smith hitting Tyreek Hill deep down the right side for a 64-yard touchdown.

Upon further review, that play doesn't happen without Hunt doing his job and sticking his nose right in on a blitzing linebacker coming right up the middle.

It's impressive to see a rookie make a play like that, which only endeared himself further to his teammates.

  1. The most improbable touchdown of the year

Trailing 14-3 late in the first half of the Week 9 game against the Dallas Cowboys, and following a Dak Prescott touchdown run, the Chiefs got the ball back with just 13 seconds left in the first half.

There weren't a lot of options at that point.

On the first play, Smith hit West for a gain of 11 yards—setting up a final play with just two seconds remaining and 57 yards left to the end zone.

It's worth noting that West actually did a pretty smart thing by getting out of bounds with time left on the clock, even though he may have been able to pick up a few more yards by cutting back to the inside and trying to make something happen. He allowed what happened next to actually happen.

With just three defensive linemen rushing the passer and most of the Cowboys defenders standing 40 yards down the field to protect the goal line, Smith hit Tyreek Hill on a short little pass across the middle. But Hill had a couple of blockers in front of him.

It was obviously a designed play to give Hill the ball in space with some help, and after a couple of nice moves, a burst of quickness unmatched in the NFL and a few key blocks from Demarcus Robinson, who blocked TWO guys, and Kelce, who completely took his guy out of the play, Hill found a crease into the end zone for the 57-yard score.

It's the play that's forever going to remembered as the "Hill-Mary."

  1. Anthony Sherman takes care of business

In talking about players who don't get enough credit because much of what they do happening away from the ball, the Chiefs' Anthony Sherman is a prime example of a guy who fits that bill often.

Sherman—an old school fullback—does the dirty work, and he's been very good at it for a long time.

In the Chiefs' Week 2 win over the Eagles, one of the low-key biggest moments of that game was a third-and-3 run to the left side from Hunt that went for eight yards inside the red zone.

At the time, the Chiefs were leading 20-13 and there was just 3:37 left in the game, and the play-call put the game in the hands of the guys who do the dirty work, and despite some initial up-field pressure and Hunt having to plant and get up field as the outside was cut off by the edge defender, the block from Sherman ultimately made the first-down possible.

Hunt followed Sherman through traffic and as soon as there was daylight, a linebacker flashed to cut off the play and Sherman took him on in a huge collision—resulting in both players hitting the ground.

Hunt had the lane and picked up the first down, and the Chiefs would score the ultimate game-winning touchdown just one play later on a Hunt run up the middle.

It's often what we're not paying attention to live as we're following the ball that makes the most difference to what actually happens on a given play, and these were just a few examples from last season.

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