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Chiefs Blow 18-point Cushion to Titans

Pat StrathmanJanuary 6, 2018

The home playoff woes continue for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota led the Titans to three second-half touchdowns, including one throw to himself, and the Titans rallied from a 21-3 deficit to stun the Chiefs 22-21 on Saturday for their first playoff win in 14 years. Meanwhile, the Chiefs extended their home-playoff losing streak to six, a NFL record.

KC’s start was anything but sluggish. The Chiefs marched down the field with ease on two different scoring drives. Rookie tailback Kareem Hunt punched in the ball past the goal line for a one-yard scored, followed by a 13-yard pass from quarterback Alex Smith to tight end Travis Kelce with 2:15 remaining in the first quarter.

The scoring didn’t pick up for 15-plus minutes. Tennessee ended the silence with a 49-yard field goal by kicker Ryan Succop with 1:55 left in the half. Smith led KC’s ensuing drive down the field and capped off the attack with a 14-yard pass to wide out Demarcus Robinson. Smith was 19-of-23 passing for 231 yards in the half, putting the Chiefs ahead 21-3.

Tennessee drastically changed the tune in the second half with a 15-play, 91-yard drive to open the third. Mariota threw a pass that was deflected back to him and he caught the pass for a six-yard TD. The Titans forced a Chiefs punt right after the scoring drive, but Tennessee muffed the punt, giving KC great field position. Kansas City went back two yards and kicker Harrison Butker kicked a 48-yard field goal off the upright.

The Titans made the Chiefs pay, scoring one minute into the final frame with a 35-yard TD run by Derrick Henry. Tennessee went ahead with a 22-yard connection between Mariota and receiver Eric Decker with 6:06 to go. Mariota went for two, but it appeared the signal caller lost the ball. KC’s Frank Zombo picked it up and began running for two points, but the officials had ruled progress was stopped.

Kansas City moved the ball to the Tennessee 44-yard line, but Smith sailed a pass by receiver Albert Wilson with 2:09 left in the game, preventing a field goal try by Butker for the win.

Smith finished with 264 yards and two touchdowns on 24-of-33 passing. Hunt had just 11 carries for 42 yards and a TD. Tennessee’s Mariota completed 19-of-31 passes for 205 yards and a pair of scores. Henry rushed for 156 yards on 23 rushes.

Kansas City’s season comes to a screeching halt, falling to 10-7.

Copyright © Meridian Media, 2022. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced without Meridian Media’s express consent.



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