Chiefs

Chiefs defenders, young and old, collect takeaway souvenirs

Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Daniel Sorensen intercepted a pass intended for New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game.
Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Daniel Sorensen intercepted a pass intended for New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game. jsleezer@kcstar.com

Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters with two interceptions? Been there, done that. Last week, for instance.

Linebacker Derrick Johnson returning an interception for a touchdown? Sunday was career No. 4.

An end zone pick by safety Eric Berry? His career has been built on big moments.

The defensive leaders have made big plays since putting on a Chiefs uniform and did so again in Sunday’s 24-3 triumph over the Jets at Arrowhead Stadium.

But on Sunday, several others got in the act, contributing takeaways for the first time that helped pave the dominant defensive performance.

Take Eric Murray, the rookie safety from Minnesota. He recovered a fumble early in the second quarter that started the Chiefs’ second scoring drive.

Murray spent most of the postgame as many players who have success do, sitting at his locker and scrolling through his telephone for messages of congratulations.

Murray didn’t want much credit for the play.

“Just right place at the right time,” he said.

Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry said the eight-takeaway performance against the New York Jets was a group effort.

Which is the case with most takeaways. On this one, Ryan Fitzpatrick completed a pass over the middle to Bilal Powell. After a 9-yard gain, Chiefs cornerback Phillip Gaines made the tackle and knocked the ball loose. Murray beat teammate Ron Parker to the ball for the recovery. The play required a replay, and after a few moments, Murray’s takeaway was confirmed.

“I wasn’t sure, everything was happening so fast,” Murray said. “I just picked the ball up.”

The ball came with Murray to the sideline.

“I’m keeping this one,” Murray said.

Daniel Sorensen also is keeping his souvenir. A third-year pro from Brigham Young, Sorensen entered the afternoon with 22 career tackles, two passes defended and a sack. On Sunday, Sorensen added an interception.

With 4:40 remaining in the game, Fitzpatrick had already thrown three picks. On a fourth-and-10, he attempted to hit Brandon Marshall on a deep out. The ball sailed and Sorensen was there for the grab.

“Marcus had great coverage, I saw the ball in the air and made a break on it and went and got it,” Sorensen said.

“You should have caught the first one,” said Peters, whose locker is next to Sorensen’s.

Sure enough, Sorensen made a nice play on the previous play and nearly a diving interception. He had to wait one more play.

“You saw everybody make plays today, all across the board,” Sorensen said. “Linebackers, (cornerbacks), safeties, got their hands on the ball.”

Everybody included D.J. White, the rookie cornerback whose interception in the end zone ended the turnover avalanche. It was Fitzpatrick’s sixth pick thrown and the Jets’ eighth turnover. The Jets had 11 possessions in the game.

Special teams got in the act when Demetrius Harris grabbed a fumble out of the air off a Jets kickoff return and returned it for a second-quarter touchdown. A fourth-year pro, Harris had a receiving touchdown last season, but this one felt different.

Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters had his second straight two-interception day and helped Derrick Johnson into the end zone on his score.

“Every time before the kickoff we were saying, ‘Let’s get the ball, let’s force a turnover,’ ” Harris said. “It popped out, I was folding, was at the right place at the right time, it was in my hands.”

Harris was on his way to the end zone with his biggest moment of the season. So it was for so many of the Chiefs’ defenders, for the first time.

Blair Kerkhoff: 816-234-4730, @BlairKerkhoff

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