Nick Bolton’s Big Hit: How the Chiefs’ Linebacker Was Able to Swing Momentum in Sunday’s 20-17 Victory

Late in the game, the Kansas City Chiefs needed a stop to get a swing in momentum. Nick Bolton provided a giant blast of momentum on third down.

The best football players in the world have excellent vision. A player who can’t see the play developing in front of him won’t make many plays, but one who does and can quickly process what he is looking at can be a special football player. As Nick Bolton plays out his first full-time season as the team’s middle linebacker, he has gotten better at diagnosing plays and being able to stop them. This week he provided a massive momentum swing with his giant third down lick to force the Titans to punt.

While Bolton did a great job reading the play, it was his film study that lead to him making the play. A year ago, when the Titans embarrassed the Chiefs 27-3 a well-timed third-down and long screen pass lead the Titans to pick up a drive moving first, which would eventually lead to a touchdown. This play was the same type of slip screen. The tackles sell pass, inviting the ends up the field, while the guards and center leak out.

This time around Bolton read the guards and saw the play develop, but the Chiefs defensive line was also ready. They latched on and engaged the guards, not letting them get free of blocks, making it easier for Bolton to close in and make the play.

The thunderous hit energized the crowd and was in a way the last gasp for the Titan’s offense. They would get another shot to score in overtime but there was nothing they were able to do other than drop back and pass. The Chiefs had taken away every other source of positive yards that they could muster, including the screen game.

Nick Bolton is looking to have a strong finish to the regular season, as he continues to rack up tackles and impact plays.

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