As Chiefs rallied, Chris Conte stepped up with end-zone INT
The Bucs were clinging to a 12-10 lead in the fourth quarter Sunday, and the Chiefs were threatening to take the lead, getting a 44-yard pass play to the 10-yard line, in range for a go-ahead field goal if not a touchdown.
Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith had thrown just three interceptions all season in 289 pass attempts, for an interception percentage of just 1.03 percent, among the best in the NFL. But on second and goal, his pass across the middle was deflected by the outstretched hand of defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, and safety Chris Conte got the interception, racing out of the end zone and out to the 48-yard line on his return.
"I was just doing my job. I was just patient on that play," Conte said of his interception Sunday. "It's a play that we've seen before in practice, so I was ready for it ... They had a play-action fake and he threw me the ball."
The game's momentum was back to the Bucs, who took the short field and converted with their only touchdown of the day, the deciding score in a 19-17 win over the Chiefs. A week earlier, Conte had his first career pick-six for the first score in a rout of the Bears, and Sunday, he was at the center of another Bucs victory.
"I can't tell you how major of a play that was," fellow safety Bradley McDougald said. "Late in the game, their offense is driving, and they're gaining momentum play by play, and not only does he come down with it, but returns it to midfield and gives our offense good field position. It's essentially the play of the game."