The Chiefs called the rare fake on a kicking play, but when Albert Wilson heard the call, he didn’t need the instruction repeated.
“If I even hear something that rhymes with it I’m going with it,” said Wilson, who carried out the assignment perfectly.
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On this occasion with the Chiefs in punt formation, Wilson took a direct snap from James Winchester as the up back, and the blocking created an opening up the middle.
Once Wilson got through the traffic at the line, he was gone. He made one cut to his left to avoid return man Eric Weems, who was now a defender, and sailed clearly toward the end zone.
Wilson was so happy that he launched into a somersault after crossing the goal line after scoring the first rushing touchdown on a fake punt in the NFL since 2008.
He then made his way across the end zone to a corner of the Georgia Dome where several family and friends had gathered to share in the celebration of the biggest play of Wilson’s career.
The Georgia Dome was Wilson’s home field when he played at Georgia State from 2010-2013. This was the stadium where he posted many of his career highlights, becoming an all-Sun Belt Conference wide receiver and return specialist.
Wilson was one of many Chiefs form the region with an abundance of family members and friends in attendance, and he had more than what went into the books as a rushing touchdown to show for his afternoon. He also had four receptions for 48 yards can caught Alex Smith’s final attempt of the day, one that produced the first down that allowed the Chiefs to run out the clock.
Wilson said it felt odd dressing in the visitor’s locker room, and the fake was clearly something out of the ordinary.
The scenario: The Chiefs led 20-16 at halftime and got the ball to start the second half. Three plays brought them to a fourth-and-1 at the Falcons 45, and Andy Reid kept his offense on the field.
The Falcons weren’t prepared and called a timeout.
“We wanted to go to a different call as we went against their personnel group,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. “It was just a little back and forth match against them and their offense.”
Reid then switched it up and sent on the punt team.
The call was made to snap the ball to Wilson standing a few yards behind Winchester.
“It’s something we had just put in,” Wilson said. “We had it up all week. My guys did a great job like they’ve been doing all week in practice.”
Winchester had an extra responsibility in addition to making an accurate snap. He had to make a block that opened a hole.
“That was just one of those we’re just looking to get the first down,” Winchester said. “But it opened up and Albert got there quickly. He made a great play. They showed what we were looking for and we ran it.”
The Chiefs lead was now 27-16, and they had the momentum. The Falcons would get it back, taking the lead with 4 1/2 minutes remaining, but only briefly before Eric Berry returned a two-point conversion interception 99 yards for the go-ahead score.
Wilson and a gutsy play call helped the Chiefs reach that point.