For the Chiefs to win, we knew that quarterback Patrick Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce would have to have big games. They did not disappoint. But when Kansas City was trailing in the fourth quarter, wide receiver Kadarius Toney — who didn’t play a single offensive snap in the first half — would help change the game.
The former New York Giants wideout — acquired in 2021’s first round — came to the Chiefs just before the trade deadline in exchange for the team’s 2023 compensatory third-round pick and a sixth-round pick.
On a magnificent play call by head coach Andy Reid that left him wide open for a five-yard touchdown reception, Toney gave the Chiefs a 28-27 lead — their first of the game.
On the ensuing drive, the Kansas City defense forced a three-and-out. Toney took the punt at the Chiefs’ 30-yard line, started left and then cut back right to find a wall of Kansas City blockers in front of him. His 65-yard return set a Super Bowl record, putting the Chiefs on the Eagles’ 5-yard line. Three plays later, Kansas City went up 35-27 with 9:22 left in the fourth quarter.
The bottom line
The Giants thought it was best to move on from Toney, giving Kansas City general manager Brett Veach an opportunity to take a chance on an electric player who had been injury-prone in New York. That calculated gamble paid off at the perfect time — and on the biggest stage. The Chiefs have the wideout on a rookie contract through 2024 — and will also have a fifth-year option in 2025.
If he can remain healthy, his talent will lead him to a dynamic career in Kansas City.