Daniel Sorensen high-stepped into the highlight reel Sunday night.
The former BYU star and eight-year Kansas City safety provided one of the game’s top plays in the Chiefs’ 22-9 win over the Denver Broncos when he intercepted a deflected pass and ran 75 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
It hasn’t been the smoothest ride for Sorensen this season: per Pro Football Focus, Sorensen had allowed an opponent passer rating of 144.0 through the first 12 weeks of the year, third-worst among NFL safeties who had played at least 50% of their team’s snaps.
As such, the veteran who’s made several clutch plays in his career has endured plenty of criticism for his play.
“He was taking a lot of heat so it was good to see him make big plays like I knew, like our team knew (he could),” fellow Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu said, per ESPN. “We rely on him to do a lot. In our eyes, he’s a special player, a very smart player, a player who can do a lot of different things.
“Nothing has changed about him. He still does the same thing each and every day as far as routine. He’s somebody we can really count on.”
Sorensen’s pick-six Sunday was his fourth since 2016. That’s tied for second-most among NFL players during that span.
He also had two solo tackles and a pass deflection in helping Kansas City win its fifth straight game, as the Chiefs’ defense has led a resurgence after the team started the year 3-4.
Sorensen’s celebration at the end — high-stepping into the end zone with the ball held high — went viral on social media.
Daniel Sorensen high steps into the end zone for his fourth career pick-six pic.twitter.com/IQB1bJbhn0— Ben Brown (@BenBrownPL) December 6, 2021
letting daniel Sorensen get off like this is hilarious pic.twitter.com/EUSMryW7nP— Tony X (@soIoucity) December 6, 2021
When you're getting taunted by Daniel Sorensen pic.twitter.com/LMTUUsJHFP— Jordan Hansgen (@JRHansgen) December 6, 2021
I think Teddy Bridgewater gave Daniel Sorensen a turbo boost with that shoulder bump. https://t.co/ZRo52JRQ5i— Nate Taylor (@ByNateTaylor) December 6, 2021
When you get trucked by Daniel Sorensen on his way to the end zone with an interception you just tossed him...it's probably not gonna be your night.— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) December 6, 2021
If you get high stepped on by Daniel Sorensen you have to quit football I don’t make the rules— Shane B (P4L) (@straitvibin) December 6, 2021
“There’s a certain trust that you build up with a player along with his knowledge and toughness,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said of Sorensen, per ESPN. “He’s a good player and so he has a role on that defense. Everything’s not going to go (perfectly). We understand that. ... You’ve got to push through those things. He’s wired that way. You just knew he would power through it. You always hope they come out the other end and so we trusted that.
“Guys can hang their head when things aren’t going right, especially when things are as big as that was becoming. He didn’t do that. He trusted himself. He trusted the coaches. He trusted the scheme and the guys around him.”
Sorensen — who’s seen improvement in his game during the winning streak, including an interception against Las Vegas in Week 10 — told reporters after the game he’s not focused on outside voices, but rather on his teammates and making the team better.
“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,” he said. “The only people that I care about are the people in that locker room — coaches and players. We’re a family, we stick together, and we have each other’s backs. Good or bad, I could care less. I’m more focused on the next task.”
How Utah ties performed during Week 13
Several Utah ties made a significant impact during Week 13 of the NFL season. Here’s a look at how local ties performed:
Cowboys 27, Saints 17
- Francis Bernard, LB, Utah, BYU and Herriman High: 1 tackle; 22 snaps (all on special teams).
- Simi Fehoko, WR, Brighton High: 16 snaps (3 on offense, 13 on special teams).
- Dalton Schultz, TE, Bingham High: Started at tight end; 5 receptions, 43 yards; 73 snaps (67 on offense, 6 on special teams).
- Kaden Elliss, LB, Judge Memorial High: Not active for game.
- Chase Hansen, LB, Utah and Lone Peak High: 24 snaps (all on special teams).
- Taysom Hill, QB, BYU: Started at quarterback; completed 19 of 41 passes, 264 yards, 2 touchdowns, 4 interceptions, 11 carries, 101 yards; sacked 2 times; 70 snaps (all on offense).
- Marcus Williams, FS, Utah: Started at safety; 3 solo tackles, 1 pass deflection; 1 tackle on a third-down play prevented a first down and eventually led to a turnover on downs; 70 snaps (all on defense).
Buccaneers 30, Falcons 17
- No locals on active roster.
- No locals on roster.
Cardinals 33, Bears 22
- Leki Fotu, DT, Utah and Herriman High: 26 snaps (18 on defense, 8 on special teams).
- Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah: Started at cornerback; 2 tackles (1 solo); 49 snaps (all on defense).
- Patrick Scales, LS, Utah State and Weber High: 5 snaps (all on special teams).
- Khyiris Tonga, DT, BYU and Granger High: 3 tackles; 25 snaps (17 on defense, 8 on special teams).
Chargers 41, Bengals 22
- Michael Davis, CB, BYU: Started at cornerback; 2 solo tackles, 3 pass deflections, 1 interception that led to a Chargers touchdown; 74 snaps (72 on defense, 2 on special teams).
- Kyler Fackrell, LB, Utah State: 1 tackle, 1 QB hurry; 55 snaps (51 on defense, 4 on special teams).
- Alohi Gilman, S, Orem High: Not active for game with quadriceps injury.
- Jalen Davis, CB, Utah State: 9 snaps (2 on defense, 7 on special teams).
Lions 29, Vikings 27
- John Penisini, DL, Utah, Snow College and West Jordan High: Not active for game with an illness.
- Penei Sewell, OT, Desert Hills High: Started at right tackle; 72 snaps (all on offense).
- Jamaal Williams, RB, BYU: Started at running back; 17 carries, team-high 71 yards, 1 reception, 9 yards; 34 snaps (all on offense).
- Nick Vigil, LB, Utah State and Fremont High: Started at linebacker; team-high 15 tackles (9 solo), 1 QB hurry; 77 snaps (72 on defense, 5 on special teams).
Colts 31, Texans 0
- No locals on active roster.
- No locals on roster.
Dolphins 20, Giants 9
- Eric Rowe, S, Utah: Started at safety; team-high 7 tackles (5 solo); 65 snaps (all on defense).
- Devontae Booker, RB, Utah: 6 carries, 36 yards, 4 receptions, 18 yards; 23 snaps (all on offense).
Eagles 33, Jets 18
- Sua Opeta, OG, Weber State and Stansbury High: 9 snaps (2 on offense, 7 on special teams).
- Javelin Guidry, CB, Utah: Started at cornerback; 5 tackles (1 solo); 83 snaps (71 on defense, 12 on special teams).
- Zach Wilson, QB, BYU: Started at quarterback; completed 23 of 38 passes, 226 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception, 3 carries, 0 yards, 1 touchdown; sacked 2 times; 59 snaps (all on offense).
Rams 37, Jaguars 7
- Terrell Burgess, S, Utah: 18 snaps (5 on defense, 13 on special teams).
- Matt Gay, K, Utah and Orem High: Made field goals of 40, 44 and 37 yards, made 4 of 4 point-after attempts; 15 snaps (all on special teams).
- Nevin Lawson, CB, Utah State: Started at cornerback; 7 solo tackles; 71 snaps (68 on defense, 3 on special teams).
Football Team 17, Raiders 15
- Tyler Larsen, C, Utah State and Jordan High: Did not play.
- Dax Milne, WR, BYU and Bingham High: Not active for game.
- Jackson Barton, OT, Utah and Brighton High: 3 snaps (all on offense).
- Matt Bushman, TE, BYU: 8 snaps (all on special teams).
- Andre James, C, Herriman High: Started at center; 59 snaps (all on offense).
- Dallin Leavitt, S, Utah State and BYU: 28 snaps (8 on defense, 20 on special teams).
Steelers 20, Ravens 19
- Miles Killebrew, S, Southern Utah: 1 tackle; 20 snaps (2 on defense, 18 on special teams).
- Tyler Huntley, QB, Utah: Did not play.
- Ty’Son Williams, RB, BYU: Not active for game.
Seahawks 30, 49ers 23
- Cody Barton, LB, Utah and Brighton High: 20 snaps (all on special teams).
- Bryan Mone, DT, Highland High: Started at defensive tackle; 1 solo tackle; 32 snaps (28 on defense, 4 on special teams).
- Bobby Wagner, MLB, Utah State: Started at linebacker; 9 tackles (6 solo), 1 pass deflection, 1 interception in San Francisco territory; 62 snaps (58 on defense, 4 on special teams).
- Fred Warner, LB, BYU: Not active for game with hamstring injury.
- Mitch Wishnowsky, P, Utah: 3 punts with 45.7-yard average; 11 snaps (all on special teams).
Chiefs 22, Broncos 9
- Marcus Kemp, WR, Layton High: 1 tackle; 21 snaps (4 on offense, 17 on special teams).
- Daniel Sorensen, S, BYU: 2 solo tackles, 1 pass deflection, 1 interception returned 75 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter; 46 snaps (39 on defense, 7 on special teams).
- Garett Bolles, OT, Utah, Snow College and Westlake High: Started at left tackle; 78 snaps (77 on offense, 1 on special teams).
- Tim Patrick, WR, Utah: Started at wide receiver; 1 reception, 9 yards; 67 snaps (all on offense).
Patriots 14, Bills 10
- Kyle Van Noy, LB, BYU: 1 solo tackle, 1 pass deflection, 1 QB hurry that helped lead to an incompletion on a third-down play; 45 snaps (all on defense).
- Taron Johnson, CB, Weber State: Started at cornerback; 1 solo tackle; 23 snaps (22 on defense, 1 on special teams).
- Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah, Snow College and Bingham High: Started at defensive tackle; 30 snaps (27 on defense, 3 on special teams).
- Zack Moss, RB, Utah: 8 carries, 21 yards, 2 receptions, 12 yards; 24 snaps (all on offense).