Safety Daniel Sorensen rewards Chiefs’ faith against Broncos

Broncos Chiefs Football
Posted at 1:05 AM, Dec 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-06 02:05:34-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Daniel Sorensen won’t read this.

The veteran Kansas City Chiefs safety also didn’t read your mean tweets during the Chiefs’ first five weeks of the season as he got roasted for several big plays.

Sorensen lost his starting job on Kansas City’s defense barely a month into the season. He was struggling in deep coverage and had become a target — well, the primary target — of fan ire in Chiefs Kingdom during a rocky start to the season for Steve Spagnuolo’s defense.

But Sorensen, who returned an interception for a touchdown and made two tackles while also stopping a two-point conversion in a 22-9 win Sunday against Denver, said he didn’t hear any of the noise from fans or media clamoring for his job.

“I’ll be frank; I’ll tell you this — absolutely zero,” Sorensen said. “I didn’t read a single article. I won’t read an article from tonight either. I don’t care what people say, good or bad. I don’t get on social media. I don’t read articles. I don’t care, frankly. The only people that I care about are the people that are in that locker room, coaches and players. We’re a family; we stick together and we have each other’s backs. So, good or bad, I could care less. I’m more focused on the next task.”

That’s also how Sorensen ended up in the right spot to intercept Teddy Bridgewater and dash 75 yards to the end zone for a game-clinching pick-six on Sunday Night Football — focusing on the next task.

“We were in an all-out blitz,” safety Tyrann Mathieu said. “Dan had the running back, but I guess the running back blocked. Dan did what any smart player would do. He just found some work and the ball came to him. The rest is history.”

Sorensen and linebacker Ben Niemann have been the lightning rods for the Chiefs’ defense this season.

Both were struggling with glaring missed tackles and busted pass coverages as Kansas City coughed up nearly 30 points per game during a 3-4 start.

Both also have seen their snaps decrease during the Chiefs’ five-game win streak, which has powered coach Andy Reid’s team into first place in the AFC West.

Both also were part of one of the two biggest plays in the win against Denver, the other being Byron Pringle’s muffed punt heroics.

It was Niemann who tipped Bridgewater's pass, redirecting it to the middle of the field a few yards.

“It fell right in my lap,” Sorensen said.

Sorensen knows all too well what to do from there, returning the interception for his fourth career pick-six touchdown — followed by a cathartic, joyful celebration with his teammates in the end zone.

“Dan, a few weeks ago, I was sitting in here and everybody wanted him gone,” Reid said. “This is what’s so great about this game.”

Mathieu described Sorensen as a smart, special and versatile player and the “ultimate professional.”

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes said Sorensen’s a playmaker.

“If you look at his entire career, whenever there’s a big moment in football, it seems like he’s around the ball making something happen,” Mahomes said. “I actually told the QB room, ‘Man, it seems like every division game, he gets a pick-six,’ so I would like to say I called it.”

Reid attended Brigham Young University, where Sorensen also played, and insisted that he had faith he’d come around despite the obvious early-season struggles because Sorensen never hung his head or lost faith in himself.

“He’s a good player and he has a role on that defense,” Reid said. “Everything is not going to go perfect. We understand that. ... There’s a certain trust that you build up with a player, knowing his knowledge and toughness and his skill level.”

Given a chance to gloat, Sorensen instead took the high road after Sunday’s win. But since he never really heard the criticism, nor will he hear the praise, perhaps that’s to be expected.

“I’m more focused on how we played as a defense, how we played as a team,” Sorensen — spotlighting fellow safety Juan Thornhill’s interception, Pringle’s special-teams plays and the fourth-down stop to snuff out a 20-play drive by the Broncos in the red zone late in the first half — said. “That’s more satisfying than anything.”