Cornerback Phillip Gaines, the Chiefs’ third-round pick in this year’s draft, was all smiles in the locker room Sunday, and really, it’s hard to blame him.
Not only was he a part of an NFL victory for the first time, he also contributed to a winning effort, recording two special-teams tackles and briefly filling in on defense as a nickel corner when starter Chris Owens left the game.
“When someone goes down, you’ve just got to get in there and do your job,” Gaines said. “It’s fun to be able to just get out on the field and play and cut loose.”
Before Sunday, Gaines had logged only one defensive snap in the Chiefs’ first two games. But he’s played a bit on special teams, and he made an impact there on Sunday with his tackles.
On the first, Gaines was covering a kickoff when Miami’s Jarvis Landry broke into the open. He might have taken it longer than the 74 yards he did if Gaines didn’t run him down
“That’s what you do as a safety on kickoff,” Gaines said. You’re kind of the last resort, you and the kicker. So once it got past Cairo, I knew there wasn’t anybody else back there so I had to go make it.”
On the second, Gaines was covering a punt as a gunner and laid out Landry in what was perhaps the hit of the night.
“Dustin kicked a really good kick and it was only one gunner on me and that was a lot of field for me to cover,” Gaines said. “It was a great punt, had a lot of hang time. And I was just there to make the play.”
Chiefs contain Miami’s deep passing game
The Chiefs entered the game knowing they would have to keep Miami receiver Mike Wallace, a respected deep-ball threat, from taking the top off the defense.
And while Wallace — who was targeted 12 times — caught five passes for 74 yards, he never hit them with a home-run ball.
“We just stayed on top,” safety Ron Parker said. “We kept everything in front of us and lived to play another down.”
Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill finished the game 21 of 43 for 205 yards and a touchdown. His longest throw of the day was a 30-yard completion to Wallace.
“All week we did a good job in practice of communicating,” Parker said. “It just carried over to the game today and it paid off big for us.”