When Chiefs coach Andy Reid talks about safety Eric Berry being “one of the greats in the game, probably the best safety right now playing football,” these are some plays that come to mind.
There are many others, but here are five of Berry’s top plays since returning from Hodgkin lymphoma in 2015. All contributed to road victories, two are in one game, and the most recent one occurred last Thursday in the game against the Patriots, in which Berry’s season likely ended because of a ruptured Achilles.
1. Submarine tackle
At San Diego, Nov. 22, 2015
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Berry makes a great read and dives under a block, making an open-field tackle on the Chargers’ Stevie Johnson. The play required smarts, hustle and technique. It was Berry at his best.
2. Double-spin pick-six
At Carolina, Nov. 13, 2016
Chiefs fans easily remember Marcus Peters’ strip of Kelvin Benjamin that set up the game-winning field goal. But Berry’s fourth-quarter interception of Cam Newton and double spin moves on the way to the end zone with the Chiefs trailing 17-6 started the comeback toward an improbable victory.
3. & 4. “That’s the way you come home”
At Atlanta, Dec. 4, 2016
Berry’s first trip to his Atlanta home since undergoing chemotherapy treatment results in perhaps his best game as a professional. He returned one interception for a touchdown and another on a two-point conversion attempt for the game-winning points in a 29-28 Chiefs win.
5. Fourth-down stop
At New England, Sept. 7, 2017
The season opener’s first big moment occurs early in the first quarter when the Patriots, leading 7-0, face fourth-and-1 from the Chiefs’ 9. Berry snakes through the pile and is the first to reach running back Mike Gillislee, stopping him for no gain. Again, the read and instincts are flawless. This is what Reid means when he said earlier in the week that “you’re not going to replace Eric Berry.”