Kansas City Chiefs backup quarterback Chad Henne was undoubtedly the hero of Saturday’s 27-20 Divisional Round playoff win against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The 13-year veteran came off the bench as Patrick Mahomes — the game’s biggest star — went to the locker room with an ankle injury during the second quarter.
Starting a key drive from the Chiefs’ 2-yard line, Henne managed to lead the offense for 98 yards for a key touchdown.
On a key third-and-3 from the Kansas City 23-yard line, Henne found wide receiver Kadarius Toney for an eight-yard gain to keep the drive going.
Chiefs fans may see that play and be reminded of the last time Henne saw meaningful snaps — in another Divisional Round game against the Cleveland Browns two years ago. Henne sealed the Chiefs’ 22-17 win by finding now-Miami Dolphins’ wide receiver Tyreek Hill on a similar play to convert a crucial fourth down.
Speaking after the game, Henne explained the reason why similar plays have come up in his postseason appearances. He credited Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and quarterbacks coach Matt Nagy for putting him in the best position to succeed.
“Just a quick roll out and hit the flat,” he said of the play. “It was one of the plays that was in our third-and-2 to four group. It was ranked high for me. That’s what’s great about this organization — and coach Reid and EB and Nagy. When your plays are ranked, they believe in that. They believe in what you believe in — and you feel very comfortable when the play does come in to execute it.”
His experience allowed him to maintain a calm and relaxed demeanor in both of his recent playoff appearances.
“Definitely, nerves were high,” Henne confirmed. “Two years ago when I did it — same thing. But once you get into the game and you kind of get going, it’s just like repetition. It’s not like I’ve never done it before — I’ve played in enough games. When the opportunity is called upon, I feel like I’m ready.”