Marquette King had no illusion about catching Tyreek Hill to prevent a 78-yard touchdown on a punt return.
But the Raiders punter followed Hill into and through the end zone and stood right behind him as Hill faced the cheering fans in the southwest corner of Arrowhead Stadium on Thursday night.
Perhaps it was simply a couple of Georgia natives catching up.
For his stalking, King received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for taunting, but Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce didn’t get a flag for his own taunt, a mimic of King’s celebratory dancing after punts are downed inside the 10.
It was the Chiefs doing the celebrating on this occasion. Hill’s 78-yard punt return in the second quarter extended the Chiefs’ lead. The Chiefs would go on to a 21-13 victory in an AFC West showdown against the Raiders.
Hill was a major part of the scoring in the first half — for the Chiefs and Raiders.
The game opened with the Chiefs defense quickly dispatching the Raiders on a three-and-out. King punted to Hill, who muffed the kick.
The ball fell through Hill’s arms and between his legs. It appeared as if Hill had fallen on the ball, but the Raiders’ James Cowser wrestled it away in the scrum.
The Raiders took over on the Chiefs’ 38, moved to the 26, and wound up settling for Sebastian Janikowski’s 44-yard field goal.
But Hill made up for the blunder as the second quarter got underway. The Chiefs moved to the 36. On second down, Hill went in motion from the left to the right, and it was from there that Hill ran a deep post, speeding past cornerback David Amerson and into the end zone to haul in Alex Smith’s perfectly placed ball.
The Chiefs had regained the lead on Hill’s sixth receiving touchdown this season. His second kick return would extend the lead to 21-3.
The Chiefs had taken a 14-3 lead on Charcandrick West’s 3-yard run.
The defense quickly forced a punt, and King booted it away. Hill camped under it near the sideline and lost 4 yards on the return,
But the Raiders were penalized on the play because a gunner had run out of bounds, and the Raiders had to kick again. This time, King’s boot went to the middle of the field, and Hill was gone in a flash.
His final maneuver turned King around and two weeks after Hill returned a free kick for a touchdown against the Broncos, he had his second return touchdown of the season.
In that game, Hill also caught a touchdown pass and rushed for one, becoming the first rookie to score touchdowns receiving, rushing and on a return in the same game since the Bears’ Gale Sayers, the former Kansas star, in 1965.
Throw in the punt return on Thursday and Hill, according to a tweet from the NFL’s Media Research Group, Hill is the first rookie in in the Super Bowl era (since 1970) to score touchdowns in those four ways.
He continues to make his case as one of the Chiefs’ top offensive and scoring threats, and on one touchdown Thursday he even had an escort.