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L’Jarius Sneed embraces leadership role entering AFC Championship

Kansas City’s lockdown corner leaning on past big game experience

AFC Divisional Playoffs - Kansas City Chiefs v Buffalo Bills Photo by Perry Knotts/Getty Images

This isn’t Chiefs cornerback L’Jarius Sneed’s first rodeo.

He’s been in an AFC Championship game or four and has gained valuable experience from each of those opportunities.

“It took me a long time to learn,” Sneed said Friday, ahead of Kansas City’s sixth straight appearance in the contest. “My first year, I was a jitterbug. I was happy and too excited…Things didn’t go well, but now I know what to expect.”

Logging 65 % of the defensive snaps in Kansas City’s 2020 AFC Championship win over Buffalo, Sneed says his up-and-down emotions got the best of him.

Sunday’s game not only presents the challenge of a hostile road environment but also a versatile attack; all while trying to keep your emotions in check.

“I try to tell the young guys to keep composed,” Sneed said. “Stay organized and just do you, man.”

Added to the AFC’s 2023 Pro Bowl roster by coach Peyton Manning, Sneed’s stellar play is a big reason Kansas City’s title hopes are still alive this season. The fourth-year man has started all but one game for the Chiefs, allowing just one touchdown on the year.

“Just be calm,” Sneed said, when asked about advice he would give younger players…and his younger self. “Be in the moment, live in the moment, play with energy. Just have fun out there… it’s just another game.”

But Sunday’s challenge may be the steepest for Sneed’s side, facing the presumptive MVP Lamar Jackson with a trip to Super Bowl LVIII on the line.

“He’s definitely a human joystick,” Sneed said jokingly. “They’re whole offense is good all-around. Wide receivers are good and of course the quarterback. He’s running all over the place so that’s the main thing we’ve got to stop.”

It's Game Time.

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