Cairo Santos enters Chiefs’ record books in playoff debut

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Cairo Santos’ introduction to the postseason proved one to remember during the Chiefs’ 30-0 won over the Houston Texans in the opening round of the playoffs.

Jan. 9, 2016; Houston; Kansas City Chiefs kicker Cairo Santos (5) celebrates after making a field goal against the Texans at NRG Stadium. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

Jan. 9, 2016; Houston; Kansas City Chiefs kicker Cairo Santos (5) celebrates after making a field goal against the Texans at NRG Stadium. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

Santos went 3 of 3 on field goal attempts, converting twice from 49 yards and 33 yards. He established a team record with the first 49-yard goal for the longest converted attempt in franchise history.

The second-year pro was also a perfect 3 of 3 on point-after-touchdown attempts to give him 12 total points, which tied for second-most by a single player in a Chiefs’ postseason game.

Santos didn’t find out about the achievements until after the game.

“That’s a pretty cool thing to hear about,” Santos said. “I’m excited I started my playoff career on a positive note.”

Santos’ day wasn’t finished with field goals, of course.

He affected the Texans’ field position by booming seven kickoffs into the end zone, all for touchbacks and another team record for most touchbacks in a postseason contest. Santos now ranks first in team playoff history for registering a perfect seven of seven touchbacks.

The Chiefs placekicker knew before the game he would have a good day.

“I did feel during warmups I was a little more pumped up than usual,” Santos said. “You could feel the atmosphere of such an important game and I was kicking with confidence. I could tell the ball was carrying a little bit farther.”

Special teams coordinator Dave Toub agreed.

“You could tell in his warmup that he had some energy,” Toub said. “He was attacking the ball and the ball was flying off his foot.”

Playing indoors at NRG Stadium certainly didn’t hurt.

“It’s always nice to kick in a dome stadium, too,” Santos said. “It’s your pure ball, if you just make good contact it will go a long way. Luckily we scored a lot and I had a chance to have a lot of touchbacks. I was pleased with that.”

Santos had 40 touchbacks during the 2015 regular season.

And his teammates on special teams responsible for running down the field to cover kickoffs appreciate Santos’ ability to kick it deep.

“It does make our job a lot easier and also not having to worry about them getting a return or making a big play in the return game,” cornerback Jamell Fleming said. “That helps us and the whole team.”

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Herbie Teope is the lead Chiefs beat writer for ChiefsDigest.com and The Topeka Capital-Journal. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @HerbieTeope.

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