Berry “picks” on At­lanta

Kansas City safety’s two re­turns for scores thwart home team’s rally CHIEFS 29, FAL­CONS 28

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Paul Newberry

at­lanta» What a home­com­ing for Eric Berry.

There were a pick-six, a pick-two and a vic­tory he’ll never for­get.

Af­ter At­lanta grabbed the lead with less than five min­utes to go, safety Berry in­ter­cepted a two-point con­ver­sion pass by Matt Ryan and re­turned it 99 yards to give Kansas City an im­prob­a­ble 29-28 tri­umph over the Fal­cons on Sun­day. There were plenty of tears, to be sure. Berry grew up in sub­ur­ban At­lanta and was play­ing in the city for the first time as a pro. His mother was in the stands at the Ge­or­gia Dome, cheer­ing him on. But, most poignantly, this was where he re­turned for treat­ment af­ter a mass found his chest near the end of the 2014 sea­son turned out to be Hodgkin’s lym­phoma.

“The last time I came home dur­ing the sea­son it was to get chemo­ther­apy,” Berry said. “I take pride in a lot of things that peo­ple take for granted, so when op­por­tu­ni­ties come my way I just cher­ish them and try to make the most of them.” Boy, did he ever. In the fi­nal minute of the first half, Berry stepped in front of Ryan’s throw over the mid­dle and re­turned that pick 37 yards for a touch­down that gave the Chiefs (9-3) their first lead. Af­ter scor­ing, Berry found his mom — wear­ing his No. 29 jersey — and de­liv­ered her the ball. She blew him back a kiss.

“I just handed it to her and told her I’d be back,” he said. Prom­ise kept. “I shed a few tears be­fore the game, I shed a few tears dur­ing the game and I shed a few af­ter,” Berry added. “It was just a lot of emo­tions. I tried to con­tain them and let it show through my play.”

The Fal­cons (7-5), ral­ly­ing from a 27-16 deficit, went ahead 28-27 on Ryan’s 5-yard touch­down pass to Aldrick Robin­son with 4:32 re­main­ing.

At­lanta de­cided to go for two, look­ing to stretch the mar­gin to a field goal. But Berry read it all the way, stepped in front of the tight end and took off the other way with no one even close to him, pro­vid­ing the Chiefs with their win­ning mar­gin one week af­ter a huge road vic­tory against the ri­val Bron­cos.

Kansas City Chiefs strong safety Eric Berry runs back an in­ter­cep­tion on an At­lanta Fal­cons two-point con­ver­sion at­tempt late in the fourth quar­ter Sun­day at the Ge­or­gia Dome. Chuck Bur­ton, The As­so­ci­ated Press

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