Titans Fall 20-17 to the Chiefs in Overtime

Titans Fall 20-17 to the Chiefs in Overtime

KANSAS CITY – The Titans let one get away here last night against the Chiefs.

A decided underdog, the Titans led for a good chunk of the game at Arrowhead Stadium.

But the Chiefs rallied to win 20-17 in overtime, and they snapped Tennessee's five-game winning streak in the process.

"It's very disappointing," Titans coach Mike Vrabel said. "I feel terrible for the players that compete, that put so much into this and play through pain, through discomfort, through any situation. I am lucky that I get to coach them – they fight.

"There's no moral victories, that's the thing I want to make clear. We came over here to win, and that's all we were thinking about doing."

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The Titans led 17-9 late in the fourth quarter, but the Chiefs tied the game 17-17 with 2:58 left in the fourth quarter on a 14-yard touchdown run by Patrick Mahomes, and then a two-point conversion run by Mahomes.

The Chiefs then took a 20-17 lead with a 28-yard field goal by kicker Harrison Butker with 4:04 left in overtime.

The Titans had a possession in overtime, but they couldn't do anything with the ball.

"We are just proud of how we played," Titans safety Kevin Byard said. "I don't know how many plays we played on defense – probably like 100 or something like that. We gave up a ton of yards, but we battled our asses off. We kept us in the game the majority of the game against an explosive offense.

"I told them when I walked to the sideline when they kicked the field goal – 'Hey, … I can't ask for nothing more. Everybody was out there battling. Guys were injured, giving everything they've got, and that's all I can ask for at the end of the day."

Malik Willis made his second career start for the Titans in place of an injured Ryan Tannehill.

Willis completed 5-of-16 passes in the contest for 80 yards, and he also ran for 40 yards on eight carries. Willis saw receivers let catchable deep balls escape their grasp in a game when he was sacked three times.

Running back Derrick Henry went over the 100-yard mark for the fifth straight game, this time finishing with 115 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries.

But the Titans dropped to 5-3 with the loss on a night when Mahomes completed 43-of-68 passes for 446 yards with a touchdown. Titans cornerback Roger McCreary picked off Mahomes in the contest.

"More than anything, I am proud of the guys for the way they fought," Willis said. "We didn't give up regardless of the situation, and I am super-proud of the guys. We didn't come out on top this time, but it's something to learn from."

The Titans were a resilient bunch on defense.

Early on, the defense rose up early after Kansas City put together a long drive to start the game, holding the Chiefs to a 24-yard field goal by Butker after they'd held the ball over eight minutes on a 15-play, 69-yard drive.

The Titans turned in an explosive play on their first offensive play – a 48-yard completion from Willis to rookie tight end Chig Okonkwo. But the drive stalled, and the Titans were forced to punt.

On Kansas City's next possession, Mahomes connected with Mecole Hardman for a seven-yard touchdown pass, which made it 9-0. The Titans appeared to be on the verge of getting another stop, but a missed tackle by McCreary on Hardman allowed him to score.

But the Titans answered back with a beautiful seven-play, 74-yard drive of their own, and capped it off with a four-yard touchdown run by Henry. Willis connected with tight end Austin Hooper on a 16-yard completion on the drive, and he also ran twice for 25 yards on the possession. Henry put the Titans inside the red zone on a 24-yard run.

When the Titans got the ball back, they scored again – on another touchdown run by Henry, this one from one-yard out. The five-play, 79-yard drive gave the Titans a 14-9 lead. The drive featured a 56-yard run by Henry, who broke Earl Campbell franchise record for rushing touchdowns with the 74th touchdown run of his career.

Early in the second half, the Titans extended their lead to 17-9 on a 44-yard field goal by kicker Randy Bullock. The field goal was set up by an interception by McCreary, who hauled in the Mahomes pass after it went off of Kelce's hands.

The Titans continued to play bend-but-don't-break defense in the third quarter, as they stopped a Kansas City drive, and then saw a 47-yard field goal attempt by Butker sail wide, and the score remained 17-9 with 5:17 left in the third quarter.

Fpr the longest time, it looked like the Titans might pull off the upset.

Then came the disappointing finish.

The Titans return to action on Sunday against the Broncos at Nissan Stadium.

"This one is tough, for sure," Titans defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons said. "We will see them in the playoffs again. One play could have changed this game, especially in overtime. Our mindset is: How can we make that one play? But I am proud of the team – we fought 'til the end."


How the Chiefs beat the Titans: Mahomes, Chiefs survive Titans in OT on ‘Sunday Night Football’

In a game where it looked like they were going to be physically pushed into the loser's circle, Patrick Mahomes was able to lift the Chiefs to a 20-17 victory over the Titans in overtime on Sunday night. 

Kansas City found itself trailing Tennessee 17-9 with just over seven minutes left to play in regulation and facing a third-and-17 situation. That's when Mahomes scrambled for 20 yards to keep the drive -- and the Chiefs comeback hopes -- alive and would eventually scramble again for a 14-yard touchdown and two-point conversion to knot the game at 17 apiece. That led to an overtime period where Mahomes again put together the go-ahead scoring drive, marching the Chiefs offense 64 yards down the field to set up a 28-yard field goal for Harrison Butker. From there, the defense took care of the rest, sacking Malik Willis twice to finish off the win and move to 6-2 on the season. 

Passing issues were a key factor in the Titans' inability to pull off the road upset. Willis completed just five of his 16 pass attempts for 80 yards in the loss. Derrick Henry rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns, but most of that production came in the first half. Meanwhile, Mahomes was 43 of 63 for 446 yards, a touchdown sand a pick. Travis Kelce was his go-to option, hauling in 10 of his 17 targets for 106 yards. 

For a more detailed breakdown of how this game unfolded, check out our takeaways below. 

Why the Chiefs won
The Chiefs desperately needed some semblance of a running game and they simply weren't getting it from their stable of backs as Isiah Pacheco, Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Jerick McKinnon combined for just 14 rushing yards on 12 carries. Because of that inefficiency on the ground, Tennessee was willing to sit back in coverage and bottling things up in the secondary. So, Patrick Mahomes had to take matter into his own hands legs. He not only rushed for a team-high 63 yards, but those gains on the ground were the difference between the Chiefs winning and losing this game. 

On the fourth-quarter touchdown drive alone, Mahomes had three notable scrambles that converted a third-and-17, scored the game-tying touchdown, and the two-point conversion. While those rushes will garner most of the headlines, Mahomes also used his legs to extend plays and set up throws down the field. In overtime, he rolled out on a third-and-inches play and completed a jaw-dropping 27-yard pass to Noah Gray that put them deep into Tennessee territory to set up the go-ahead field goal. 

Defensively, the Chiefs did a strong job slowing down Tennessee's biggest weapon on offense: Derrick Henry. After a first half where he rushed for 92 yards and two touchdowns, K.C. held Henry to 23 yards rushing on eight carries over the course of the second half and overtime. 

Why the Titans lost
Tennessee dictated the way in which this game was going to be played right from the get go and welcomed a rock fight. The Titans' physicality -- particularly on defense -- was apparent throughout the game and threw Kansas City off rhythm. They even got to Mahomes for four sacks and eight total quarterback hits, while constantly flushing him out of the pocket. On offense, they were throwing similar haymakers with Derrick Henry, who was plowing through the line of scrimmage. 

While that style forced the Chiefs hand and helped the Titans jump out to a 14-6 halftime lead, the club's inability to pass the football was their ultimate undoing. At a certain point in the second half, that physical style was thrown out the window and Malik Willis was suddenly forced into a situation where he had to throw his team to victory and keep pace with Patrick Mahomes. And he couldn't. 

Willis threw for -2 yards in the second half and overtime, and not one Titans wide receiver managed to haul in a catch. That inability to move the ball through the air was apparent down the stretch in regulation when the Titans did have an opportunity to go down the field and set up a game-winning drive. After Mahomes' touchdown run to tie the game at 17, Tennessee got the ball back with just under three minutes to play. The offense went three-and-out and traveled -4 yards as Willis had an incompletion and took a sack. The Titans even had another shot late in the fourth after getting the ball back with 35 seconds, but Willis threw three straight incompletions as the punted the ball away. 

In overtime, Willis was sacked twice and threw an incompletion on fourth-and-26 to ice the game for Kansas City. 

Because Tennessee couldn't do anything through the air, they were 1 of 12 on third and fourth down. That type of conversion rate isn't going to win you a lot of games. 

The Titans held a 17-9 lead when Patrick Mahomes was faced with a third-and-17 situation from his own 31-yard line and 7:11 left on the clock. If Kansas City was unable to convert, they'd likely be punting it away to a Tennessee offense that would have been more than happy to give the ball to Derrick Henry to try and burn as much clock as possible to further their chances at pulling off the upset. Even as Mahomes was pressured and the Titans coverage in the secondary stood firm, the quarterback relied on his lefts to pull off a remarkable 20-yard scramble that moved the chains. 

As was the case for most of the night, Mahomes was flushed out of the pocket due to pressure and was able to weave his way through defenders for the first down. 

That conversion was the catalyst to the 13-play, 93-yard touchdown drive that -- thanks to two other Mahomes runs -- tied the game at 17 and forced overtime.

While the third-and-17 conversion kept the comeback hopes alive, it was Mahomes' 12-yard rushing touchdown that completely swung the momentum in Kansas City's favor. In a similar circumstance to the previous scramble, Mahomes didn't have an open receiver and was quickly flushed out of the pocket. He was able to shake off Jeffery Simmons at around the 6-yard line as the two jolted up the right sideline and Mahomes then lowered his shoulder to drive into the end zone. 

After a flurry of penalties, Mahomes relied on his legs again on the two-point conversion attempt, scooting left toward the pylon to tie the game at 17.   

What's next
From here, the Chiefs will stick around Arrowhead and await the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are fresh off a win over the Raiders. As for the Titans, they'll head back to Nashville and gear up for a Week 10 matchup with the Denver Broncos, who'll be fresh off their bye. 


Mahomes helps Chiefs rally past Titans 20-17 in overtime

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- — Patrick Mahomes was probably having flashbacks Sunday night to his days at Texas Tech, when he would scramble around like a kid playing sandlot football while routinely throwing the ball 60-plus times in a game.

The Chiefs needed all of it — every run, every throw, every yard — to rally past the Tennessee Titans.

Mahomes finished 43 of 68 for 446 yards and a touchdown, and he ran for the tying score and 2-point conversion late in the fourth quarter, before Harrison Butker atoned for two earlier misses by drilling the go-ahead field goal in overtime and lifting the Chiefs to the 20-17 victory.

“I did not know I threw that many,” Mahomes said with a smile, “but yeah, Texas Tech, I threw a couple, so I'm able to do it.”

Chiefs coach Andy Reid improved to 21-3 coming off a bye by beating a franchise that has long been his nemesis. He was just 2-9 against the Titans — heck, Reid has three wins against the Chiefs — including a 27-3 loss in Nashville last year.

It was only the second win for Kansas City (6-2) in its last seven games against the Titans.

“You have to be able to win a game like that," Reid said, “where everything isn't just perfect, and your emotions are up and down and you have to fight through. We were so close on so many plays. Step up and let's go.”

Things were spiraling toward another disappointment the way Derrick Henry was chewing up yardage against the Kansas City defense, and the way the Titans (5-3) were shutting down Mahomes and Co. into the fourth quarter.

Indeed, the Chiefs were trailing 17-9 and time was running out when they took over at their own 7-yard line. But in vintage Mahomes fashion, he willed his team downfield. His 20-yard scramble on third-and-17 kept the drive going, and his third-and-9 touchdown scramble along with his 2-point conversion run knotted the game with 2:56 to go.

After the Chiefs won the overtime coin toss, the Titans nearly stopped them, only for Noah Gray to make a nifty third-down catch. Then, Mahomes hit JuJu Smith-Schuster on fourth down to keep the drive alive — and the clock moving.

Butker drilled his 28-yarder to give Kansas City the lead with 4:04 left in overtime.

The Chiefs proceeded to stuff Henry, then sacked Titans rookie Malik Willis on back-to-back plays, before batting down his fourth-down throw to end the game and send fireworks flying into the sky above Arrowhead Stadium.

“When you get to those end of the game situations,” Mahomes said, “you have to try to go out there and make it happen.”

Henry finished with 115 yards rushing and two touchdowns for the Titans. But he didn't get a whole lot of help from Willis, who got his second start in place of the injured Ryan Tannehill, and was just 5 of 16 for 80 yards.

“I'm very disappointed. I feel terrible for the players,” Titans coach Mike Vrabel said. “They compete, and put so much into this, and play through pain and discomfort and any situation. I'm lucky to coach them. They fight.”

The Chiefs figured the best way to shut down Henry, who had run for 219 yards and two touchdowns last week against Houston, was to keep him off the field. They opened the game with a 15-play march that took up 8 1/2 minutes and ended in a field goal, then forced a punt and went 79 yards with Mahomes finding Hardman for the touchdown.

All told, the Chiefs held the ball nearly 13 of the 15 minutes in the first quarter.

The Titans finally got going in the second, and it was Willis using his legs to get Kansas City off balance. The fleet-footed rookie twice scrambled for good yardage before Henry turned a direct snap into a 4-yard TD run.

After forcing a punt, Henry went to work again. He slipped through the line untouched and was finally dragged down 56 yards later. Then, the 247-pound running back pounded into the end zone to give the Titans a 14-9 lead.

It was Henry's 74th career touchdown run, moving him past Earl Campbell for the most in franchise history.

The Chiefs, meanwhile, were incapable of running the ball. And with the Titans no longer worried about stopping the rush, they began to relentlessly pressure Mahomes. Denico Autry's first sack forced a punt, then his second on third-and-1 near midfield prevented Kansas City from getting points just before halftime.

The Titans eventually extended the lead when Mahomes was picked off by rookie Roger McCreary, setting up Randy Bullock's 44-yard field goal. But their own offense started to fizzle, and despite Butker's missed field goal — he also missed an earlier extra point — the Chiefs managed to get the late touchdown they needed to force overtime.

“It was a struggle,” Reid said. “We were up and down and the guys hung together.”


Tannehill was limited in practice Wednesday and Friday but did not practice at all Thursday and was questionable for the game. He tried warming up but never planted his ailing ankle before walking off the field with Tennessee coach Mike Vrabel about two hours before kickoff. He was made inactive 30 minutes later.


Titans: FS Josh Thompson left in the second half with a knee injury. LB Bud Dupree left with a hip injury.

Chiefs: CB Jaylen Watson landed awkwardly on his neck in the first half, though he eventually returned to the game.


The Titans return home to face Denver on Sunday.

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