The Titans beat the Chiefs 35-32 and in incredible fashion. Going into the game, it was clear that the Titans would need to put up a lot of points in order to beat the Chiefs. It wasn’t always pretty, but the Titans put up 35 points and won the game.
QB Ryan Tannehill: 13/19 181yds (144 passing, 37 rushing) 2 TD 0 INT 1 FUM
RB Derrick Henry: 23 CAR 188yds 8.2yd avg 2 TD
WR Kalif Raymond: 1 REC 52yds
TE Anthony Firkser: 3 REC 35yds
WR Adam Humphries: 1 REC 23yds 1 TD
TE Jonnu Smith: 4 REC 30yds 6 TGTS
CB Logan Ryan: 13 TOT (total tackles) 9 SOLO (solo tackles) 1 TFL (tackles for loss) 3 PD (passes deflected)
CB Leshaun Sims: 12 TOT 9 SOLO
CB Joshua Kalu: Game-winning blocked kick
LB Rashaan Evans: 7 TOT 3 SOLO 1 SACK 2 TFL 1 FUM REC (51yds returned for TD)
Total Plays: 49
Total Yards: 371
Passing Yards: 146
Rushing Yards: 225
Time of Possession: 22:09
QB Patrick Mahomes: 36/50 446yds 3 TD 0 INT
RB Damien Williams: 19 CAR 77yds 4.1yd avg
WR Tyreek Hill: 11 REC 167yds 14.3yd avg 1 TD 19 TGTS (most in NFL this season)
TE Travis Kelce: 7 REC 75yds 1 TD 7 TGTS
WR Mecole Hardman: 1 REC 63yds 1 TD 4 KR/90yds
WR Demarcus Robinson: 4 REC 56yds
Total Plays: 78
Total Yards: 530
Passing Yards: 433
Rushing Yards: 97
Time of Possession: 37:51
The end of the game was absolutely incredible. The Titans trailed by 5 points with 3:14 remaining in the game after the Chiefs successfully kicked a 39yd FG. After a big run from Derrick Henry, the Titans threw an incompletion, completed a two yard pass, and got called for a false start. This brought up 4th and 17. In the last 20 years, the Titans had converted just one 4th down attempted longer than 15yds. Tannehill threw down the right sideline and the ball was nearly brought in by AJ Brown but it fell incomplete. The Chiefs took over on downs in the RedZone and they were ineffective. After Mahomes slid to keep the clock running, the Chiefs fumbled the snap on a 47yd FG attempt. The FG would have put the Chiefs up by 8 but the holder was not ready for the snap, and it was dropped then thrown away. The holder was called for intentional grounding which gave the Titans 10 extra yards to work with. There was 1:21 left on the clock and the Titans had no timeouts. The ball was at the Titans 39yd line. Tannehill had his best drive of a Titan. On the first play, Tannehill scrambled all the way to the Chiefs 40 yd line. Aj Brown nearly caught a touchdown on the ensuing play after the ball was narrowly knocked out of his hands. The Titans then completed a 22yd pass to Anthony Firkser, who had a big game. At this point, I thought the Titans would spike the ball, but they threw a touchdown instead. Adam Humphries scored on the most important play of the Titans season. Humphries made a good play after catching the ball in the middle of the field and the 2pt attempt was GOOD after Derrick Henry ran it in for 2yds.
The next drive made every Titans fan nervous. There were just 23 seconds on the clock but Patrick Mahomes can make plays that nobody expects. The Titans squibbed the punt, making a kick return by Mecole Hardman very unlikely. On 1st and 10 from the Chiefs 38, Patrick Mahomes completed a 39yd pass to Demarcus Robinson that put them right outside of field goal range. The Chiefs then used a timeout to stop the clock with ten seconds left. Mahomes threw a 5yd pass to Robinson on the next play then threw an incomplete pass to Tyreek Hill. Kicker Harrison Butker, who was 4/4 on FG at the time, trotted on for a 52yd FG that would tie the game. The snap was good, but the kick was BLOCKED by Titans CB Joshua Kalu who was recently promoted onto the 53 man roster. Kalu timed the snap perfectly and replays showed that he was onside. I never expected the game to end this way, but who did? After the 40yd completion to Tyreek Hill with around 4:00 remaining, I thought the game was over.
What went well this game:
1. The Run Game
Derrick Henry put together his best performance of the season on Sunday. Henry had 23 carries which is the 2nd most he has had in a game this season. Henry recorded his season high in rushing yards with 188. The blocking was good but much of Henry’s success came from his persistence. Henry ran extremely well and turned plays that looked like a loss into a gain. Henry averaged a career-high 8.2 yards per carry, and he averaged 9.5 midway through the 4th quarter. This game proved that Henry is the focal point of the offense and his play can determine the outcome of a game. Henry was unstoppable at times in the second half and he kept the Titans in the game.
2. Late Game Execution
The Titans late game execution was fantastic, despite a few mistakes. The Titans had an incredible 4th quarter and it was totally game changing. Heading into the 4th, the Titans trailed 22-20. Shortly after the beginning of the 4th quarter, the Chiefs scored a big touchdown on 3rd and 9 after Patrick Mahomes made a seemingly unnecessary jump pass. After the touchdown, the Titans played their best football of the season. The Titans played well throughout the half but the 4th quarter is what won them the game. Derrick Henry lead the Titans on a great drive similar to the one against Carolina. Henry took the Titans down the field and ultimately brought the game within 2 points. The Titans proceeded to hold the Chiefs to just a field goal which is exactly what they needed. The Titans got the ball back with just enough time to continue to run the ball, and they put together the drive of the season that won them the game.
What did not go well this game:
1. The First Quarter/ The Slow Start
This season, the Titans have played multiple games where they score 0 points in the first half. They have proven repeatedly that they start very slowly. The Titans scored 13 points but it came from an incredible defensive play, and just two big passing plays. The first touchdown was Rashaan Evans making an incredible play to return a fumble for a 51 yard touchdown. The second touchdown was a great catch by Anthony Firkser. The touchdown came after a 51yd pass to KR/WR Kalif Raymond who was recently promoted to the active roster. In the first quarter, the Titans had their only turnover of the game, and looked pretty average on defense outside of a near interception by Kenny Vaccaro.
2. Big Defensive Plays
The Titans struggled containing Tyreek Hill and suppressing other big plays. Hill had multiple catches of over 15yds, and had multiple big plays. I think Adoree Jackson played another good game and contained Hill just enough. Hill still had a very big game but Jackson made some crucial game-saving plays. This is minor, but it could have been better.
This time last year, the Titans shocked the Patriots, similar to this week. I think this win is far more impressive. The Titans dug themselves a hole early but found a way to win. This shows resilience, and this shows that the Titans have the ability to make it into the postseason. Tannehill did not have any crazy stats because it was a team win. Derrick Henry ran incredibly well, and the defense scored 7 points. Many people believed the season was over after last weeks loss but this win has injected life into fans and the organization. The Titans head into the bye week sitting at 5-5 with no wins in the division.
I never count out a win, but I thought it was extremely unlikely that the Titans would win this game. I saw just one media member pick the Titans and that was CBS’s Pete Prisco. Even Nashville’s own Jared Stillman, Floyd Reese, and Chris Sanders picked a Chiefs win. The win was completely improbable but the Titans managed to pull out a win.
This win for the Titans is season-saving, and when it comes to the end of the season, I think we will look at this game as a turning point. There are no guarantees in the NFL but I feel good about the Titans playing the Jags at home after the bye week. Nick Foles will be back from injury but I think momentum will carry the Titans to victory. I will write more during the BYE Week. I will go into more depth about the Titans vs Chiefs game and I will look ahead to the Titans Week 11 matchup against the Jaguars.