<
>

Dee Ford's end zone pass breakup ended string of late home losses

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs lost their first two home games of the season because they couldn't hold on to fourth-quarter leads. The Denver Broncos and Chicago Bears each scored two fourth-period touchdowns to beat the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Each time the winning score happened in the final minute.

The Chiefs appeared on the verge of wasting another fourth-quarter lead at Arrowhead on Dec. 13, when they played against the San Diego Chargers. The Chiefs led 10-3 late in the game but the Chargers and quarterback Philip Rivers were on the move, advancing as far as the Kansas City 1. A couple of penalties pushed the Chargers back to the 11, where they had one final play with two seconds left.

The Chargers sent their most reliable receiver, running back Danny Woodhead, on a wheel route out of the backfield. He was picked up by linebacker Dee Ford, who was filling in for the injured Justin Houston.

Ford was having the best game of his NFL career, with three sacks. Pass coverage, though, hasn't been a strength of his and Woodhead had a half-step on Ford in the end zone, where Rivers delivered a perfect pass.

Woodhead got his hands on the pass, but only momentarily. Ford tackled Woodhead a split second after the ball's arrival, making the receiver relinquish possession. The ball fell incomplete and the Chiefs had what would be their seventh straight victory.

Ford's pass breakup is No. 8 on the list of plays that defined the season. The Chiefs finally repelled an opponent seeking to snatch a victory in the final minute at home. The Chiefs would go on to hold off two more opponents late in the game for victories at Arrowhead, against the Browns and the Raiders.