KANSAS CITY, Mo. — At the beginning of the season, Kansas City Chiefs safety Daniel Sorensen was on the receiving end of criticism in regards to the poor play of the defense.
In recent weeks, defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s unit has turned things around and Sorensen had his best performance of the season in primetime Sunday night.
Sorensen has seen his snap count decrease as fellow safety Juan Thornhill has filled in at the free safety role.
On Sunday against the Denver Broncos, the eight-year veteran intercepted a ball from quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and ran it back 75 yards for his fourth career pick-six. He also stopped a crucial two-point conversion after Denver scored their lone touchdown of the game.
“Guys can hang their head if things aren’t going right, especially if it’s as big as it was becoming, and he didn’t do that. He trusted himself. He trusted the coaches. He trusted the scheme and the guys around him. That’s not always the case,” head coach Andy Reid said. “We have a good locker room here. When we talk about that during training camp or when they start going through these ups and downs during the season, you need that. You cherish the guys that give others support.”
Sorensen’s second interception of the season helped increase the lead to 22-3 in the fourth quarter and all but secured the Chiefs’ fifth consecutive victory.
“I’m more focused on how we played as a defense, how we played as a team. That’s more satisfying than anything…” Sorensen said after the game. “If you get a pick-six and lose, it doesn’t feel good. It’s good when you can play team, complementary football. I think we did that tonight, all three phases working together and coming up with the big win.”
The Chiefs defense and special teams were able to force three turnovers, continuing to prove that they are trending in the right direction ahead of the playoffs.
Sorensen’s rough start to the season was highlighted by fans and media, but he said he never paid attention to those comments.
“I didn’t read a single article. I won’t read an article from tonight, either – what people say, good or bad. I don’t get on social media, I don’t read articles. I don’t care, frankly,” Sorensen said. “The only people that I care about are the people in that locker room – coaches and players. We’re a family, we stick together, and we have each other’s backs. Good or bad, I could care less. I’m more focused on the next task.”
Fellow safety Tyrann Mathieu said although he heard the outside noise directed toward Sorensen, he and the rest of the defensive back room knew what he was capable of.
“He took a lot of heat, man. It was good to see him make big plays like I know, like our team knows,” Mathieu said. “We rely on him to do a lot. In our eyes he is a special player, a very smart player, a player who can do a lot of different things. It is good to see him have a lot of success under the bright lights.”
The Chiefs will stay at home in week 13 to host the Las Vegas Raiders, the second of three consecutive division matchups.