Quartet of classics featured greatest toes on turf
(AP) — Jay Feely stood on the Arrowhead Stadium sideline witnessing one of the best quarterback duels in the NFL’s 102-year history, the capstone to what many are calling the greatest weekend of games the league has ever seen.
Mesmerized by the back-and-forth between Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen, Feely came to a stark realization in the deafening din: he was yelling just like everyone else.
“This was the greatest weekend of NFL football ever,” Feely said Monday, echoing a popular sentiment in the wake of a quartet of divisional-round games that featured last-second field goals and lifelong regrets.
Clutch kickers secured walk-off upsets for the 49ers at Green Bay, the Bengals at Tennessee and the Rams at Tampa Bay before Harrison Butker’s 49-yarder sent the Chiefs’ nightcap against Buffalo into overtime Sunday night.
Mahomes then put the Chiefs in an unprecedented fourth consecutive conference championship at Arrowhead Stadium with a 42-36 win with an 8-yard TD toss to Travis Kelce, whose playground improvisation helped put the Chiefs into field-goal range with 3 seconds left in regulation.
“I had never been at a game on the sideline yelling and screaming as a fan,” said Feely, who has spent the past seven seasons as an NFL special teams analyst for CBS following his 14-year pro kicking career. “It was just unbelievable play, jaw-dropping, just spectacular.”
Every game came down to special teams thunders and blunders.
Butker’s 49-yarder came just 13 seconds after Buffalo took a seemingly safe 36-33 lead on Gabriel Davis’ playoff-record fourth touchdown catch.
The second-guessing began immediately after the Bills shunned a squib kick and kicked the ball out of the end zone.
Feely said the real headscratcher, however, was the Bills’ No. 1 defense somehow allowing Tyreek Hill to catch a 19-yard pass and Kelce to haul in a 25-yarder to the Buffalo 31 as Mahomes called timeout with 3 seconds left.
“I’ve heard all day about how they should have squib-kicked it,” Feely said. “Say you squib-kick it and they jump on it, remember, the clock doesn’t start until they touch the ball — it’s like a basketball rolling out downcourt. If they jump on it on the 30, maybe 1 second goes off. But they’ve gained 5 yards of field position. That’s not an advantage.