Two months before he made the catch that inched the Chiefs one win closer to their latest taste of football’s paradise, Marquez Valdes-Scantling was at the center of their nadir.
He zipped past an Eagles defender with 1:50 left on Nov. 20, and Patrick Mahomes directed a throw 55 yards downfield with Kansas City needing a touchdown to win the Super Bowl LVII rematch. The ball fell through Valdes-Scantling’s hands. He settled on his stomach in the end zone, with the Chiefs’ best chance to escape with a win bouncing away from him.
It marked the second loss in three games for the Chiefs, part of a 3-5 stretch that took their 6-1 start and made it look fake. Mahomes’ receivers kept dropping passes. Travis Kelce looked old. The offense didn’t have the same fluidity. Dynasty? Super Bowl? Just clinch the division first. Just get to the playoffs.