Insider: Chiefs WR Suggested Game-Saving Overtime Play Call During Super Bowl

Patrick Mahomes tells Peter King Chiefs WR called overtime play in Super Bowl.

Getty Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes did not call one of the most crucial plays of the 2024 Super Bowl, and neither did the coaching staff.

It’s very possible that the 2024 Super Bowl was veteran wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling’s final game with the Kansas City Chiefs.

The 30-year-old’s cap hit jumps up to $14 million in 2024, and the Chiefs front office can save a significant $12 million in cap space by releasing the wideout ahead of free agency. Considering Valdes-Scantling’s regular season production in 2023 — 21 receptions off 42 targets for just 314 yards and one touchdown — this would typically be categorized as a no-brainer of a roster move.

“MVS” brings something else to the table, however, and there’s a reason head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Patrick Mahomes II have never hesitated to back him. During his final column on February 26, legendary NBC Sports NFL insider Peter King told a story from a recent Feb. 21 interview with the Chiefs QB, and it revealed just how much this offense trusts Valdes-Scantling as a leader.

“I thought there was something that [Mahomes and I] talked about that explains Mahomes the person, the player and the competitor. The team-think, the singleness of purpose, the keeping the main thing the only thing, the single-mindedness,” King preluded, taking us behind the scenes of a crucial moment of the Super Bowl.Kansas City ball, fourth-and-one at the KC 34-, 6:05 left in OT, down three, timeout. Get stopped and the game’s over; you lose. Make the first down, and the game goes on.”

“What happened in the huddle?” King asked before quoting Mahomes.

Per King, here was the former MVP quarterback’s reply: “I wish I could take all the credit, but it was kinda crazy. We were going through our plays. We were trying to decide if we wanted to run or pass. We had a couple run plays dialed up. We were trying to find that perfect play. I was thinking of passes because I wanted to pass it obviously and have the ball in my hand. So MVS came into the huddle on the side, and was like, ‘Hey let’s go with Slide T’s,’ which is wild because it’s not even a play designed for him. It’s really designed for Travis [Kelce] and Rashee [Rice]. When MVS said it, it clicked to me. I was like, ‘That’s it. That’s perfect.’”

The rest is history.

Will Chiefs Part Ways With Marquez Valdes-Scantling?

Kansas City cannot keep Valdes-Scantling at his current salary, that much is clear. Having said that, there are always other alternatives to cutting a player.

Perhaps the veteran is willing to restructure his deal or agree to a pay cut. Maybe there’s a way general manager Brett Veach can keep MVS inside the locker room as a third or fourth option rather than a WR1 (based on salary).

That all comes down to a player’s valuation of themselves. At times, Valdes-Scantling has come off as gruff with the media over his two seasons in KC — but there’s clearly more to his personality than meets the eye.

MVS is often raved about by teammates and coaches, showing that he’s a leader behind the scenes. Reid and Mahomes have also commonly noted how hard he works.

As displayed within King’s story, the veteran wideout has intricate knowledge of the Chiefs’ system, the confidence and status to suggest a do-or-die play, and the selflessness to choose something that targeted a teammate rather than himself.

Peter King Credits Chiefs OC Matt Nagy for 2023 ‘Contribution’

Within King’s final column was another unexpected shout-out. Like MVS, Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy has faced his fair share of criticism this season.

“Kansas City has a 65-year-old coach you’d think would be set in his ways by now, and a 45-year-old offensive coordinator who doesn’t get nearly enough credit for his contribution to a championship team,” King stated boldly.

Explaining: “I wrote about this in December, but on my way out ‘Heisman’ deserves a nod. It says everything about how this team wins. Offensive coordinator Matt Nagy is a film nerd; he has a deep file of football plays he’s gathered through his years in Kansas City and Chicago, going back to the 1940s. Some nights when he has time and is hungry for a kernel of an idea, he dives into the file and spends an hour or two just watching.”

“Last fall, he found one in a Penn-Columbia game in the [1940s], before positions were so clearly defined,” King’s story went on. “Three backs were lined up behind the center, left guard and left tackle, and at the snap, the ‘quarterback’ took the ball and faked a pitch left to the back next to him, then handed it to one of the two players sprinting right. Big play.”

As the story goes, Nagy brought the play idea to Coach Reid and Big Red liked it. In the end, the group-think offense added their own “players” touch — left guard Joe Thuney moving to center to snap the football — before pulling it out against the New England Patriots.

“KC’s offense had been slumbering much of the year. And now, late in the scoreless first quarter at New England, here came the play, at the Patriots’ four-yard line,” King relayed. “Why now? Because Bill Belichick’s defense is trained so perfectly to read offensive cues; it’s incredibly hard to surprise the New England D.”

The insider concluded that “at the snap, Mahomes sprinted left and [Jerick] McKinnon faked a pitch to him, and McKinnon put a three-inch toss onto the hip of Rashee Rice. Easiest TD of Rice’s life.”

Moments like Valdes-Scantling’s and Nagy’s show why the Chiefs organization is able to win so consistently, and it also speaks to the very unique and trusting head coaching style of Andy Reid.