What a wild game it was on Sunday between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tennessee Titans. The Chiefs started hot. Then, the Titans cashed in on opportunities and made Kansas City pay for their mistakes. In what was a sloppy game overall, it came down to the wire. The Chiefs were unable to finish, and the Titans stole the victory away. Now, let’s look back at the major keys to this game with our Chiefs versus Titans game recap.
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Patrick Mahomes was impressive in his return to action. Many of his throws were right where they needed to be. For example, one throw hit Mecole Hardman in stride late in the game. Mahomes avoided pressure by stepping in the pocket and jumped to thrust the ball to Hardman. All he had to do after making the catch was turn on the after burners and race for the house.
Unfortunately for Mahomes and the Chiefs, there were too many drops on some good throws. These drops stalled drives and forced Kansas City to either punt or settle for three points. The big positive for Mahomes though, was he looked as good as he had all season. His abilities are still important for the Chiefs and his game against the Titans put his team in a position to win.
The Running Man
The Chiefs defense started the game hot against the Titans. The defensive line was manhandling the Tennessee offensive line. The Titans hardly gained any yards and struggled to get any momentum rolling throughout the first quarter. Tennessee was able to make adjustments, however. They leaned on their bell cow back Derrick Henry.
After a few impressive weeks of stopping the run, the Chiefs had no answer for Henry. On seemingly every handoff, Henry was smart enough to cut back where no defenders were at. That often left a Kansas City defensive back having to make a tackle one on one. They whiffed more than once. On one play in particular, Juan Thornhill went low and missed the tackle. Henry then had a free lane to the end zone for a 68 yard touchdown. Even though it took a while for the Titans to get the ground game going, they were smart to continuously run it down Kansas City’s throat. The Chiefs had trouble stopping the Titans run game, and Tennessee was smart to feed their top man.
Opposite of Mahomes, Ryan Tannehill was making all the right plays. He was smart with the football in his hands, not trying to force anything that wasn’t there. Also like Mahomes, Tannehill did not always get the help from his receivers. Too many drops hurt the Titans while trailing. But overall Tannehill was thriving off of quick throws, and then took shots when he needed to.
Defensively, it was a questionable day for Kansas City. The Chiefs gameplan called for bump and run man coverage. This was especially interesting to see on the last Titans drive where they got the game winning score. The Chiefs defensive backs had a worse day than they have had in a few weeks too. Charvarius Ward and Bashaud Breeland were beaten too easily. Other throws downfield were left wide open. As a result, it looked as if the Chiefs were a little caught off guard by the Titans passing game and the skill of their receivers.
Give credit to the Titans. But ultimately, the Chiefs beat themselves. The mistakes made on offense kept the Titans in the game, when Kansas City could have scored a few touchdowns. Along with the drops we mentioned earlier, there was issues in a few different areas.
First off, the offensive line could not keep up with the pressure Tennessee provided. Injuries piled up in that area for the Chiefs too. Meanwhile, the penalties that were made was foolish. Kansas City had as much penalties in this contest against the Titans, as they did the last couple of previous games combined. Additionally, it was a sloppy day when protecting the football. As many big plays as the Chiefs made, they took two steps back too often and created a deficit that kept piling on. The Titans blocked field goal to end the game was the icing on the tasteless cake.
This team still has obvious flaws, and they are vowing to turn it around and get better. You wonder if they are relying too much on Mahomes since he returned? Either way, the Chiefs are in a difficult spot in the AFC Playoff Picture. Also, the AFC West just got much tighter as well.
The Chiefs will face the division rival Los Angeles Chargers for the first time this year in their next game. This game will be in Mexico City on Monday Night Football, where the Chiefs will be the road team. After this, Kansas City will have their bye week, before their upcoming December stretch.
That will wrap up our game recap for Chiefs versus Titans. Be on the lookout for more Chiefs content throughout this week. Stay tuned to Full Press Coverage, for more great sports and NFL content.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.