Kansas City, Mo | Well, that was something, wasn’t it? Tennessee and Kansas City squared off as both looked to break lengthy playoff droughts.
Hilariously Titansy, comically Chiefsy, and humorously eerie all could describe the wild-card bout in Kansas City, especially the second half.
Tennessee pulled out a one-point playoff win – their first since 2003 – over Kansas City in a wacky wild-card game because a playoff game must have a winner. They just have to have a winner, it’s in the rules, even if neither team wants to win.
Tennessee trailed 21-3. Then, the Titans scored and depressing memories of playoffs past began to creep into the minds of Chiefs fans everywhere.
And then, absolute insanity occurred. Tennessee ran into the kicker, which would have extended a Kansas City drive, but Kansas City committed a personal foul to offset the penalty.
Just when it looked like Tennessee was going to escape, Adoree Jackson muffed the ensuing punt. But the Chiefs could not capitalize as they missed a field goal.
The Titans, however, did take advantage. Mariota led a touchdown drive that was concluded with a Derrick Henry 35-yard touchdown charge. But Tennessee was still down five after their moronic two-point conversion play failed.
Tennessee then stopped Kansas City again, because the Kansas City offense played dead in the second half. Travis Kelce’s injury played a role, but they still have Tyreke Hill and Kareem Hunt.
Marcus Mariota made them pay. He threw a touchdown to Eric Decker, which put Tennessee up by one. Tennessee failed another two-point conversion. Mariota nearly fumbled, but his forward progress was ruled to have been stopped. Good thing for Tennessee too, because Kansas City returned the potential fumble for a touchdown.
Derrick Henry later salted away the Titans first playoff win since 2003 with a beastly third-and-10 conversion that was sparked by a Marcus Mariota block.
Derrick Henry ran for 156 yards in the game, over 100 of which came in the second half.
1) Eric Decker came through when he was needed most, but the Titans receiving core is still a question mark.
2) Derrick Henry has all but cemented himself as the Titans number one running back.
3) Mariota continues to make key plays late, but not with his arm. Last week it was a stiff arm, this week it was a block.
4) Tennessee’s young talent is growing up quickly.
5) The Titans offense finally appears to be tailored more towards the skillset of their players, and, most importantly, Marcus Mariota.
Oh yes .. there was that TD pass Mariota threw to the receiver of the day .. himself.