Jerick McKinnon could have scored a touchdown in the Super Bowl, a tale he could have told his grandchildren about years from now. Instead, the Kansas City Chiefs running back slid down, allowing K.C. to milk most of the clock and secure a Super Bowl LVII victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.
“It wasn’t even a hesitation in my mind to score once I knew what situation we were in,” McKinnon said Sunday, via Harold R. Kuntz of FOX 4 K.C. “It’s just been a blessing, man. All the reactions from the fans, the people. I couldn’t ask for anything better.”
Following a defensive penalty on James Bradberry on third-and-8, the Chiefs had a first down with 1:48 left, with the Eagles owning just one timeout. McKinnon took the handoff and scampered left as Philly defenders cleared a path to the end zone. Instead of taking the score — and putting his name in the record books — the savvy RB slid at the 2-yard-line, and the rest is history.
If McKinnon had scored, it would have given Philly plenty of time to try to tie the game. The running back credited Andy Reid and the coaching staff for preparing him and the team for just those situations.
“We practice that every week. … I didn’t really think too much of it because that’s how we were coached,” he said. “That’s how coach Reid coaches us. When that play came up, obviously, I didn’t understand the magnitude of it until after it happened to see everyone else’s reaction, it’s all been a blessing.”
It’s one thing for coaches to preach getting down in that situation. It’s another for players to execute, particularly with a wide open path to pay dirt. Every other snap of the game, offensive players are trying to score. McKinnon, a pending free agent, smartly didn’t when he had the chance.