Kansas City, Mo. Sammy Knight missed a lunging tackle when Santana Moss went 78 yards for a touchdown.
But the Chiefs safety had the presence of mind to go 80 yards for a touchdown with a recovered fumble. And perhaps as significantly, he tipped the ball away from Moss in the end zone on the final play, preserving Kansas City's 28-21 victory Sunday and reminding the Chiefs why they acquired the veteran safety in the offseason.
"Smart," Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil said. "No. 1, he's very, very smart. He's totally aware of what's going on. You don't surprise him or fool him."
The victory, coming off a bye week that followed a demoralizing home loss to Philadelphia, put the Chiefs at 3-2.
"This was huge," cornerback Patrick Surtain said. "It's too early to talk about a must-win. But ..."
But - to finish his sentence - the Chiefs' defense also gave up 398 yards.
"Fortunately for us, we were plus-3 in the takeaway margin and, especially when you're on the road and a team turns it over three times, you very seldom win," Vermeil said. "Plus, we scored on defense. Jared Allen was very special. He has such an unbelievable motor."
Allen, the second-year defensive end who was demoted to second team in training camp when he got in Vermeil's doghouse, was credited with three sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
"That's an effort right there," said defensive end Eric Hicks. "That's a definite AFC player of the week nod in my opinion. If he doesn't get it, then he got robbed. He shut them down when we needed to, and what else can you say about him? He's a player on the rise, and you could say he arrived today."
What also arrived were the takeaways that had been mostly missing for the Chiefs defense.
"Our theme all year has been to create turnovers," Knight said. "That's what we did today was come out and create a lot of turnovers. And hopefully we can continue down that road."