KANSAS City, Mo. –” Patrick Mahomes was probably having flashbacks to his time in Texas Tech, when he would run around like a child playing sandlot football and throwing the ball over 60 times during a game.
The Chiefs needed everything — every play each throwing, and every yardto beat their opponents, the Tennessee Titans.
Mahomes completed 43 of 68 to score a touchdown and 446 yard total and he also ran for the winning score and a 2-point conversion late in fourth quarter. Harrison Butker atoned for two earlier mistakes by hitting the goal-line in overtime and bringing the Chiefs to a 20-17 win.
“I did not know I threw that many,” Mahomes stated with a smile “but yeah, Texas Tech, I threw a couple, so I’m able to do it.”
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid improved to 21-3 after a bye, beating a team that has been his foe. The Chiefs coach was 2-9 against the Titans and, in fact, Reid has won three times against the Chiefs which includes the loss of 27-3 in Nashville last year.
It was the only victory in the history of Kansas City (6-2) in its seven previous games against the Titans.
“You have to be able to win a game like that,” Reid stated, “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.”
The situation was heading toward another loss, given because of the manner Derrick Henry was chewing up yards to Kansas City’s defense Kansas City defense, and the way the Titans (5-3) were blocking Mahomes and Co. into the fourth quarter.
In fact the Chiefs were in a 17-9 deficit and had a short time left when they took over on seven yards from their line. In typical Mahomes fashion, he led his team to the sideline. The 20-yard scramble he made on third-and-17 continued the drive and his third-and-9 touchdown scramble and his 2-point conversion run tied the game at 2:56 finish.
After the Chiefs took the coin toss after which the Titans almost stopped their game, but however, they were able to get Noah Gray to make a clever third-down catch. After that, Mahomes hit JuJu Smith-Schuster on fourth down in order to keep the drive goingand keep the clock ticking.
Butker shot his 28-yarder in order to grant Kansas City the lead with just 4:04 remaining in overtime.
The Chiefs continued to smother Henry and then hit Titans rookie Malik Willis on back-to-back plays and then threw down his fourth-down throw to close the game. Then, fireworks exploded across the sky over Arrowhead Stadium.
“When you get to those end of the game situations,” Mahomes declared, “you have to try to go out there and make it happen.”
Henry was able to score an impressive 115 yards of rushing with two scores for the Titans. He didn’t get any assistance from Willis Henry, who made his second chance to start in the place of wounded Ryan Tannehill, and was only 5 of 16 in the 80-yard range.
“I’m extremely dismayed. I am so sorry on behalf of the athletes,” Titans coach Mike Vrabel stated. “They play and put so much effort into this, and have to deal with discomfort and pain, and in any circumstances. I’m fortunate to coach them. They are fierce.”
The Chiefs decided that the best strategy to stop Henry who ran to 219 yards with two scores in the previous game against Houston in the first round, was to make him stay off the field. The Chiefs began the game with a 15-play run which lasted 8 1/2 minutes, and culminated in an attempt to field goal. Then, they forced a punt that was able to go 79 yards before Mahomes connecting with Hardman to score the touchdown.
Overall it was a pretty good game for the Chiefs played the ball for 13 times in the 15 minutes they played in the first quarter.
The Titans began to move in the second quarter, the game was Willis making use of his legs to knock Kansas City off balance. The agile rookie scrambled twice to gain good yards before Henry transformed a snap into a four-yard TD run.
After forcing a punt Henry returned to work. He ran through the line without incident and was eventually dragged down 56 yards after. The 247-pound running back drove in the final zone, giving the Titans an early lead of 14-9.
Henry’s 774th career touchdown run that put him ahead of Earl Campbell for the most ever in the history of the team.
The Chiefs in contrast were not able to pass the ball. In addition, with the Titans not worried about stopping the run they started to relentlessly press Mahomes. Denico Autry’s first tackle forced an extra punt. His second one on third-and-1 close to midfield, he stopped Kansas City from getting points shortly before halftime.
The Titans were able to extend their lead after Mahomes was sacked from the line by the rookie Roger McCreary, setting up Randy Bullock’s 44-yard field shot. Their own offense was beginning to stall And despite Butker’s missed field goal and also missing the earlier pointthe Chiefs got the last touchdown they needed to make overtime.
“It was a struggle,” Reid stated. “We were up and down and the guys hung together.”
Tannehill was limited during the practice on Wednesday and Friday, but didn’t practice at all Thursday and was not able to play in the game. Tannehill tried warming up, but he didn’t put any weight on his hurt ankle prior to leaving the field along with Tennessee head coach Mike Vrabel about two hours before the kickoff. He was declared inactive 30 minutes after.
Titans: FS Josh Thompson went off in the second quarter due to an injury to his knee. LLB Bud Dupree left with a hip injury.
Chiefs: CB Jaylen Watson fell awkwardly on his neck during the opening half, but he came back to play.
The Titans are back home to take on Denver in the afternoon on Sunday.
The Chiefs will receive a visit from Jacksonville the following Sunday.