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Chiefs K Harrison Butker discusses redemption for special teams unit

The Kansas City Chiefs are heading back to the Super Bowl for the third time in the last four years after their victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship Game. A solid performance from all three phases of the game contributed to the victory, including clutch moments from the much-maligned special teams unit.

The part of the Chiefs squad that has yielded the most concern over the season has been special teams. Struggles on punt returns and the kicking game were prominent in losses and questioned throughout personnel shuffling to alleviate the problem.

Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker was perfect on extra points and on all three field goal opportunities on Sunday, including the game-winner. He reflected with media members in the locker room on kicking Kansas City to another Super Bowl.

“That was obviously the biggest kick of my career,” said Butker. “It’s such a blessing to be able to play with this organization, with the Chiefs. To think that we’ve played in five AFC Championship Games, all home games, and now the third Super Bowl in shoot, this is my sixth season – so third in six seasons for me. It’s amazing, and it’s a blessing, and I’m just so happy with the momentum that we have now going into the Super Bowl.”

Butker missed several games earlier in the season due to injury and struggled with consistency later in the season. He was criticized for not meeting his typical standard of play, similar to the struggles of rookie Skyy Moore who was replaced as a punt returner. The rookie receiver stepped in for injured teammates with an explosive return of 29 yards in Sunday’s victory to set up Butker’s game-winner.

“I guess you are referring to Skyy Moore,” said Butker. “He did a great job. Lot of guys. I think that just speaks to the type of culture that Coach Reid has established here, and where you don’t get too high, you don’t get too low. Try to maintain your personality, no matter if it is a big moment, no matter if you are doing well or doing poorly. Coach Reid was talking to us during the week and just talking about how it is going to be a home game; the crowd is going to be behind you when you do something well. If something bad happens, they will be deflated. But we can’t worry about that; you have to be even the entire time. Focus on what you can control and be the best. And if everyone is at their best, then when you add that all together, you have a great team that’s hopefully going to win the game.”

Butker and Moore redeemed themselves after a rocky 2022 season on special teams when it mattered most Sunday. A feather in the cap for coordinator Dave Toub and his insistence on sticking by his players through thick and thin.

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Story originally appeared on Chiefs Wire