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Shutdown Corner

Video: Chiefs’ Hail Mary prayers are answered on bizarre deflection

Shutdown Corner

The Kansas City Chiefs scored one touchdown in all of November. Through 29 minutes, 58 seconds of their road game against the Chicago Bears, it looked like it'd be more of the same. With backup Tyler Palko in the game, Kansas City didn't advance it past midfield on its first five possessions and barely had squeezed into Bears territory as time ran down in the first half.

Trailing 3-0 with two seconds left in the first half, the Chiefs passed up a possible 56-yard field goal to attempt a Hail Mary. Why not? Nothing else has been working since Halloween.

Tyler Palko dropped back 12 yards, stepped up in the pocket and launched the ball 50 yards to the end zone. Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher was in perfect position to intercept or deflect the ball and, for an instant, it looked like Kansas City would end their half in familiar fashion: touchdown-less. And then the Chiefs' Hail Mary prayer was answered.

The time-tested technique on how to defend Hail Marys is for a defender to knock the ball down. Urlacher did just that, only he knocked it directly into the hands of Dexter McCluster. He didn't make the wrong play, just an unlucky one.

Perhaps coaches should teacher defenders to knock down the ball only if they don't have a chance of catching it. In this case, Urlacher would have been better off going for the interception.

That touchdown ended up being the deciding factor in this crucial interconference matchup. Kansas City won 10-3 serving a devastating blow to the injured Bears' playoff hopes.

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