Top Five Moments of Eric Berry's 2016 Pro Bowl Season

Looking at a few of the top plays from Berry’s standout season

For the fifth time in his seven NFL seasons, Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry was recently named a Pro Bowler.

What's even more impressive than that is the only two seasons that Berry, the NFL's reigning Comeback Player of the Year, hasn't been given that honor was in 2011, when he was lost for the season with a torn ACL, and in 2014, when he was busy beating cancer.

His story continues to add new chapters, the next almost more remarkable than the previous.

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In 2016, Berry ranks second on the Chiefs with 73 tackles, adding three interceptions (two of which were returned for touchdowns), eight passes defensed, a forced fumble and (according to Pro Football Focus) hasn't allowed a touchdown this season.

Here are the top five moments from Berry's 2016 season so far:

  1. It seemed that Oakland Raiders WR Michael Crabtree wanted no part of this 

While many of the "memorable" plays for Berry this season have to deal with game-changing turnovers and touchdowns, there are a handful of plays that make him special when it comes to his ability to come downhill in the running game. 

Berry often turns what would be 10-yard runs into 6-yard runs for opposing running backs, but they don't always look like "highlights."

Opposing players understand Berry's presence though, whether it's coming downhill in the running game or just lurking around the middle of the field, and that was never more evident than a particular pass across the middle against the Oakland Raiders on Thursday Night Football.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr saw Berry lined up 25-plus yards deep off the snap and thought a little shallow cross from receiver Michael Crabtree would lead to some yards after the catch, but Berry was there and Crabtree knew it.

Carr's pass was high across the middle and based on Crabtree's actions, he wanted no part of that pass.

  1. Berry gets in on the "pick party" against Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick in Week 3

It's a game that's always going to be remembered for the Chiefs defense forcing six interceptions off Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Berry got involved with his late in the third quarter.

On second-and-goal from the 6-yard line with less than two minutes remaining in the third quarter, Fitzpatrick threw late off his back foot because of some pressure up the middle from Dontari Poe, and the pass was actually deflected by Derrick Johnson. As the ball floated up in the air, Berry snagged it and came down for one of the NFL-leading seven red zone takeaways by the Chiefs defense this season.

At the time of that interception, the Chiefs were holding on to a 17-3 lead, so a touchdown instead of an interception there could have changed the complexion of that game.

Berry was the right guy in the right spot at the right time.

  1. Berry has pick-six against childhood rival growing up in Atlanta, Panthers QB Cam Newton

When the Chiefs went up against the Carolina Panthers in Week 10, it was a rematch of sorts for a couple of the standout players.

Berry and Newton grew up playing against one another in the suburbs of Atlanta.

Early in the fourth quarter and with the Chiefs trailing, 17-6, defensive coordinator Bob Sutton brought the house on the blitz on third down, and Newton threw late off his back foot down the middle of the field.

That's when Berry jumped up and picked it off and returned it 42 yards for the touchdown.

Berry made several moves and broke a handful of tackles on his way back to the end zone, which marked the fourth time in his career he's done that. That number ties him for fourth place on the franchise's all-time list of defensive touchdowns.

It's the play that changed everything in this game, which the Chiefs ultimately won, 20-17.

  1. Berry kept a promise to his mother

With less than a minute remaining in the first half and with the game tied 13-13, Berry stepped in front of a Matt Ryan pass intended for Taylor Gabriel and picked it off, and once the ball was in his hands—Berry wasn't going to be denied in getting to the end zone.

Berry returned it 37 yards for the score and then promptly ran over and gave his mother the ball, who was in the stands.

"I made my mind up before the game that I was going to give her the ball when I got it," Berry said after the game. "I try to give her whatever, but it won't amount to the things she has given me, and my dad as well."

  1. Berry's pick-two gives Chiefs win just blocks from where he had chemotherapy treatments

When adding in the context of what it meant in the game and what it signified beyond the field, Berry's performance against the Falcons may be something you never see again.

This game was played at the Georgia Dome, which sits just a few blocks from Emory University's Winship Cancer Institute, which is where Berry underwent his chemotherapy treatments.

In front of dozens of friends and family members and those who helped him through the biggest challenge of his life, Berry made two plays that will forever go on his career highlight film—the first was his pick-six and the other was something that had never happened in an NFL game before.

Late in the fourth quarter, the Falcons took a 28-27 lead after a Matt Ryan 5-yard touchdown pass to receiver Aldrick Robinson, and the Falcons decided to go for two points to try and make it a three-point game.

That's when Berry stepped in front of a crossing route, intercepted the pass and raced 99 yards the other way to give the Chiefs two points. It gave them the lead right back.

The Chiefs would get the ball back, and two first downs later, they had run out the clock and won the game.

In an-already unbelievable story in what he's overcome the last couple of years, Berry's performance in Atlanta will be something we will never forget.

"I shed a few tears before the game, I shed a few during the game, and I shed a few after," Berry told the media after the game. "I think I held it together pretty good, but it was a lot of emotions, so I just tried to contain them and let it show through my plays."

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