Chiefs vs Titans Breakdown
The Chiefs rallied behind Mahomes in a hard fought Sunday Night matchup against the Tennessee Titans. Let’s break it down.
By: Justin Miles (@justm1les)
The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Tennessee Titans 20-17 in a tough overtime battle. With the win, the Chiefs move to 6-2 on the season, tying them for first in the AFC. The Titans fall to 5-3 and drop out of the AFC top 5. This matchup was not pretty at times, however the Chiefs outwilled the Titans and won the ball game.
Patrick Mahomes was phenomenal. He went 43/68 for 446 yards and a touchdown through the air. He also racked up 63 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Mahomes continues to be impressive while making the case for another MVP. After the week, Mahomes has the most passing yards and touchdowns across the entire NFL. We are truly witnessing history.
The running back committee contributed close to nothing. There are many things at fault for this, however it must be considered that it was a poor matchup against a great run defense. The three-headed monster of Edwards-Helaire, Pacheco, and McKinnon combined for just 14 yards on 12 carries. There will likely be much more action for the guys next week against a much more favorable Jacksonville defense. There is also speculation that Ronald Jones may soon finally see the field.
The receiving core as a group did a great job making plays. Despite frequent double teams, Travis Kelce managed to catch 10 passes for 106 yards. JuJu Smith-Schuster has continually built chemistry with Mahomes and is becoming a solid WR1 option. He caught 10 passes for 88 yards. He did so by doing a great job finding holes and getting open against a solid zone defense. Mecole Hardman has begun to emerge as well. He racked up 79 yards and a touchdown. Overall, the Titans gave Mahomes very little time to throw and had a great game plan against the offense. However, the offense is really beginning to grow into its shoes and made plays regardless.
Even so, bringing in a guy like Odell Beckham Jr could be very beneficial. OBJ would bring in some veteran leadership and would likely open up the other pass catchers even more. He will be fully cleared to play by the end of this week. This likely means he will sign somewhere soon. The Chiefs have recently brought in Kadarius Toney, but are still in the OBJ sweepstakes.
Overall defensively the team did a great job limiting a very effective rushing offense. Derrick Henry had 115 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground. However, a majority of his yards came from 2 big plays. Nick Bolton was the life of the defense, playing a very physical game and constantly meeting Derrick Henry in the hole. Willie Gay did a great job adjusting to a mobile Malik Willis and shut down a majority of attempts there. Khalen Saunders made his case for a starting role in a very dominant performance. He had 9 total tackles, including 1 tackle for a loss, and a sack. With Frank Clark suspended, the Chiefs rallied behind a strong team effort across the board.
The defense especially came up big when it mattered most. They held the Titans to completing just 1 out of 11 3rd down conversions. The final drive of the game, in overtime, the defensive squad made some huge plays, including a flurry of sacks and tackles for a loss. They fought hard and it paid off in the end.
The offensive line was hit or miss. The interior part of the line was great in every aspect of the game. However, both of the offensive tackles took their share of getting burnt on the outside. The outside guys allowed 4 sacks and constantly allowed Mahomes to be flushed out of the pocket. While help off the edge from the running backs is available, this is not something the Chiefs should have to rely on. Both offensive tackles need to get their stuff together, plain and simple. Not to mention, Andrew Wylie was a penalty machine, including multiple ‘ineligible man down field’ calls. Both of these guys can be great players, however this is something Kansas City is going to have to address moving forward.
Harrison Butker hit the game winning field goal in overtime, despite previously missing a PAT and a field goal during regulation. Some lag from his early season injury is apparent. He will likely get out of the fluke, but we can only hope it happens sooner rather than later.
Overall, it wasn’t always pretty, however a win is a win. The Chiefs showed grit and fought hard for the win. They now move on to host a tough Jacksonville Jaguar team, in yet another AFC battle. Go Chiefs!
Stats via: ESPN