MIAMI, Fla. – Dee Ford's blunder cost Kansas City a trip to the Super Bowl a year ago.
Now Ford has another chance to deny the Chiefs a championship when he faces them with the San Francisco 49ers.
Ford's five-year tenure in Kansas City came to a disappointing finish last season in the AFC championship game against New England. With the Chiefs leading by four points and about a minute to play, Ford made the mistake of lining up in the neutral zone.
That proved especially costly when Tom Brady threw an interception to Charvarius Ward on the play. But instead of the Chiefs running out the clock and celebrating an AFC championship, the Patriots drove to the go-ahead score and eventually won 37-31 in overtime.
“It's in a compartment of all the bad plays which you have done,” Ford said. “At the end of the day, it's something that happened. I was on the short end of the stick. I got over it. I got over it and I had to get back to work. That's all I could do.”
Instead of getting back to work with the Chiefs, Ford found a new home. Kansas City dealt him to San Francisco for a 2020 second-round pick after using the franchise tag on him. The Niners rewarded him with a five-year, $85 million contract.
The Chiefs replaced Ford with Frank Clark and now the teams will square off for a championship that was so close for Kansas City last year.
Clark called Ford's mistake “inexcusable” earlier this postseason, a description Ford didn't dispute. But the Chiefs don't put all the blame on their former player.