KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- When the Kansas City Chiefs had a fourth down at the Buffalo 39 in the fourth quarter of last week’s game against the Bills, all they were looking for was a play that would gain the one yard necessary for them to get a fresh set of downs.
They called a play they believed would not just convert the fourth down but get them a lot more. That’s exactly what happened when Jamaal Charles took a pitch from quarterback Alex Smith 39 yards for a touchdown that narrowed their deficit to 13-10. The Chiefs would go on to win 17-13.
“In that situation, yes,’’ offensive coordinator Doug Pederson said when asked if the Chiefs thought they might get a touchdown on the play to Charles. “It’s a chance to get (Charles) with the ball in space on the perimeter with the hope of obviously scoring and it worked. Guys executed the play extremely well. There was a sense of urgency being that it was a fourth-down play.’’
The Chiefs have the crack-pitch in their playbook, but not necessarily in their playbook every week. They did against the Bills, who have an aggressive front. And it worked like Andy Reid drew it up after linebacker Manny Lawson, the Buffalo player responsible for Charles on the play, came crashing hard and was well out of position by the time Charles got the ball.
The Chiefs saved the play for the moment when they needed it the most.
“Those plays like that are definitely game-specific for certain situations,’’ Pederson said. “That one happened to be a fourth-and-1. It could have been a third-and-1. But it’s (for) those short-yardage situations like that.
“It could be a play you’ve (practiced) for two or three weeks but haven’t had a chance to call it until the particular time.’’
Don’t look for the Chiefs to call the play if they get in the same situation in Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks at Arrowhead Stadium.
“Not necessarily because every defense will play that particular formation differently,’’ Pederson said. “It’s not in (the playbook) every single week. There are certain things you look for with defenses. One is defensive ends and linebackers and how they contain ... You look for those things as you game-plan.’’