Red Zone

With nothing to lose, opponents launch fake punts vs. Chiefs

Baltimore punter Sam Koch’s fake punt was stopped by the Chiefs but Cleveland pulled off a successful fake a week later.
Baltimore punter Sam Koch’s fake punt was stopped by the Chiefs but Cleveland pulled off a successful fake a week later.

About defending those fake punts…

The Chiefs have seen a fake punt each of the last two weeks, in similar and unusual circumstances.

At Baltimore, the Ravens faced fourth and 9 from their 17. But punter Sam Koch tucked it and started up the middle. He gained 7 yards before being stopped by Daniel Sorensen. The Chiefs turned that into stop into a short-field touchdown.

The lesson? Don’t fake a punt against the Chiefs in an obvious punting situation, right?

Kansas City Star Chiefs beat reporter Terez Paylor recaps Thursday's activity at the team's practice facility at Arrowhead Stadium. Video by Shane Keyser.

But last week the Browns faced fourth and 8 from their 22 in the third quarter. The snap went to upback Jordan Poyer, who rumbled 10 yards up the middle to keep alive what became a field-goal possession.

What are opponents seeing?

“The situations are long shots,” Chiefs special teams coach Dave Toub said. “You don’t think there’s going to be a fake there. In those situations we have a punt-return look.”

That is, six in the box, and two each on the gunners.

“If we stop them right there, we get great field position,” Toub said. “But it was a great effort by them, a good call.”

The Chiefs weren’t fooled by the fake against the Browns. Sorensen among others had their eyes on the ball.

“We were on it, we knew it was coming,” Toub said. “We had six guys in there, three tried to make the tackle. (Poyer) made a great effort, and his second effort he got the first down.”

Toub said he could put more players in the box, but then the Chiefs aren’t creating a good return situation.

Also, keep this in mind. The Ravens are Browns weren’t playoff-contending teams. They were more willing to take a chance than a winning team.

Sorensen was involved in a special-teams success last weekend, blocking Travis Coons’ 51-yard field-goal attempt on the final play of the first half.

Toub credited the entire unit for the block, mentioning the quick first step of Tyvon Branch on the outside that drew additional attention. That gave Sorensen the space to get to the ball quickly and give the Chiefs their first blocked field goal since 2007.

Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton spoke about a Twitter campaign for Eric Berry to be the NFL's Man of the Year. The title would allow a $20,000 award to be granted to Berry's charity.

Blair Kerkhoff: 816-234-4730, @BlairKerkhoff