Jarrad Page Saves The Day

The Oakland Raiders were trailing by four points. They were on the Chiefs' eight-yard line with 32 seconds left on the clock. Raiders' quarterback Aaron Brooks hurled a pass to Randy Moss in the back of the endzone. Chiefs' Rookie safety Jarrad Page diagnosed the play, and stepped in front of the football for the interception and the win.

Page didn't just save Sunday's game. He saved Kansas City's season.

The Chiefs couldn't afford to drop another game in the race for the final wildcard playoff spot. They definitely couldn't afford to drop a game to the Raiders, a divisional rival with a 2-7 record before Sunday's contest. One of the youngest Chiefs made the biggest play of the year, and it was enough to impress even veterans and the coaching staff.

"It's about time he caught the ball,' said cornerback Patrick Surtain. "He gets his hands on the ball in practice everyday, and he gets his hands on the ball in games. But actually, he said before the play, ‘if the ball touches my hands, I'm going to catch it,' and he did, so it's a credit to Jarrad. Even though he's a seventh-round draft pick, he didn't hang his head. From day one, he came into training camp and worked hard, and made plays in training camp and now he's transferring it to field."

Chiefs defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham echoed Surtain's praise.

"All I know is that this young man is going to be a heck of a football player," he said. "I'm surprised at the way he plays. He's very bright, but he has about as good a feel for a young safety as I have ever seen. Not only did he make that play [game-sealing interception], he made a lot of other good plays today. On the deep ball they threw in the first half, where he almost had an interception, people don't understand how hard that is, especially with the receivers that they have."

The Chiefs have been playing Page since the beginning, and that experience allowed him to diagnose and make a play.

"It's been big, coach always told us that everyone is a starter," said Page. "You've got to think of yourself as a starter, so when you get that opportunity, they need you to go play like a starter. I just try to prepare myself each week to try to go out there and make plays, however much time as I'm out there."

"It's mental. You have to understand what's going on to help you be in the right position a lot more. You've got to know what you're supposed to do to be in the right place."

The Chiefs were playing a defense called Red 2, a zone call that's designed to protect the endzone in close passing situations. Brooks tried to pull the young safety out of position with a veteran move, looking away from Moss, his intended target. Instead of biting on the fake, Page stayed in his zone, and was there to make the play.

"When they lined up in that formation, I thought that was the play they were going to run," said Page. "Brooks tried to look me off, but I just stuck with it. I thought Moss was going to the back of the endzone, and I tried to stay in there, and Brooks just threw it. He thought he had looked me off, he thought he was going to hit Moss in the back, but I got a chance to make a play and I made it."

The Chiefs couldn't afford to let this one get away. Jarrad Page saved it for them.

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