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Pernell McPhee responds to Chiefs’ disrespect with blocked field goal

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – It was as if the Chiefs had slapped outside linebacker Pernell McPhee in the face. Repeatedly.

“They had disrespected me three times in a row, running the counter at me, and they busted it three times,” McPhee said. “I looked at my guys and said, ‘That was on me. I’ve got to make a play.’

“The field-goal opportunity came, and I just made a play. I just beat the guy with a swim move and got my hands up.”

And blocked Cairo Santos’ kick.

Quarterback Jay Cutler led the Bears to their dramatic 18-17 victory, but McPhee’s blocked field goal was a defining moment. Cutler couldn’t play savior without it.

“It’s huge,” defensive lineman Jeremiah Ratliff said. “It’s points off the board. You saw the score.”

McPhee’s quick swim move easily beat Chiefs tackle Donald Stephenson. Santos’ 27-yard attempt would have given Kansas City a 20-3 lead in the third quarter.

“That just shows the heart that we have on defense and the fight they have,” running back Matt Forte said. “It would have been really easy for him to say, ‘It’s fourth down. Kick the field goal.’ He could have taken the play off, but he didn’t.”

McPhee never does. His sack of quarterback Alex Smith is another example of that. He continues to be a difference-maker for the defense.

“That’s what he does,” Ratliff said.

In Kansas City, it included his determination to make a play to compensate for runs by the Chiefs he deemed insulting.

“That was the only thing on my mind,” McPhee said.

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Email: ajahns@suntimes.com