Titans 27 Chiefs 3 – Final
I was absolutely floored by this one today. I thought the Titans could win, but hold KC to 3 points? No way.
1) Maturing Team – I wondered how they would be able to bounce back after such an emotional win Monday night and they came out ready to rock and roll. Then I wondered at halftime if they would come out ready to play 4 quarters and put it away and they came out slammed the door. That’s playing to a standard.
2) 4 Horsemen – My biggest key for the Titans to win this game was to be able to get pressure with only 4 and they crushed it. Harold Landry, Denico Autry, Jeffery Simmons and Bud Dupree were all over Patrick Mahomes Sunday sacking him 4 times, hitting him 9 times, causing him to fumble it 2 times and throw an interception. Mahomes never got comfortable and he wound up wobbling off the field.
3) My biggest play of the game – This was sooooo huge. The Titans led 7-0 in the 1st quarter and had a 3rd and 9 from their own 4. Had they failed to convert they would have punted from their own end zone and the Chiefs would have been in a great spot to tie it up, instead Jeremy McNichols got the screen and went 10 yards for the first down. The very next play Tannehill hit AJ Brown for 46 yards and it eventually wound up being a 97 yard scoring drive. Still that 3rd and 9 is what sprung it and it completely changed the game.
4) Time for talk – I think Andy Reid will be have to have a real conversation with Patrick Mahomes this week about ball security. Watching the tape coming in you could see the careless throws and the way he carried the ball, this offensive line is not good enough for him to get away with it. The Titans knew it and they were all over him. Before Kevin Byard came and stripped it away I think everyone in the stadium could see the fumble coming before it happened.
5) Big Red Wall – Tough day for Derrick Henry who had to grind out 29 carries for only 86 yards. That’s just 3 yards per carry. The Chiefs successfully slowed him down again, but the Titans never gave up on it and the Chiefs had to continue to honor it opening up the rest of the offense.
6) Help us Arthur Juan, you’re our only hope – AJ Brown was a monster and we saw once again what a healthy AJ can mean to this offense. 8 catches on 9 targets for 133 yards and a TD. That 24 yard TD catch was a beauty of a “combat catch”. He just out fought the DB for the ball. It is a luxury for Tannehill to have guys who he can just throw it up and ask them to make a play and yes, they make it!!!!
7) The Other Guys – Who can name the Titans secondary in this one? Greg Mabin started at cornerback, he’s best known as the guy who started the Titans outbreak last year. He’s been released and resigned by this team 100 times and he started and the Chiefs were NEVER able to take advantage of him. I thought the Titans were also more aggressive in coverage than I expected, on one third down play they were all up in press coverage and they got it done. The Titans also played without Amani Hooker and Chris Jackson today, it was slim pickins out there!!!
8 – Tackle, Tackle, Tackle – After struggling to tackle a couple of weeks ago in Jacksonville the Titans swarmed to the ball and tackled really well today. They have to do that when you have weapons like Tyreek Hill on the field. They held the Cheetah to only 49 yards on 6 receptions. He’s a big play waiting to happen and that is a tremendous job by the Titans defense.
9) We have a Kern sighting – Not only was Brett Kern back off the Covid list, but the Titans finally needed him. This is a real stat, between Monday night and Sunday they went 5 straight quarters without punting the football!!!! That is some pretty prolific success on offense.
10) Speaking of Kern – Both of those punters were unbelievable.
11) The 1 Chief who showed up – Rookie linebacker Nick Bolton. Kid was a load!!! He had 15 tackles and when he hit Derrick Henry he absolutely stopped him. He was really impressive.
12) Tip of the cap to Todd Downing – I loved the Titans aggressive play calling to start the game. The very first play they went play action. They even went play action on a 2nd and 10 when they ALWAYS hand it to Henry to create 3rd and manageable, they ran a reverse to Marcus Johnson and of course they threw a TD pass to MyCole Pruitt out of the Wildcat. It reminded me of the “kitchen sink” game when Green Bay came to town and Mike Mularkey threw the kitchen sink at them. Todd Downing went for the throat Sunday against the Chiefs and he deserves a high five.
13) Shane Bowen – People can not say one hateful thing about Shane Bowen after this one. Nope. You can’t.
14) The Mayor Rolls On – Kevin Byard makes an impact again with the forced fumbles. He’s a quiet star who tackles well and just makes plays.
15) Red Zone Defense – It was a huge reason the Titans beat the Bills Monday night with 2 Red Zone stops to start the game. They held the Chiefs today to 0 for 3. That wins A LOT of games.
16) Radunz Sighting – Both Rodger Saffold and Nate Davis had to leave the game briefly with injuries and 2nd round pick Dillon Radunz came in for each of them and seemed to perform just fine, he was on the field for the last 6 plays of the Titans 2nd touchdown drive. Good to see the Titans starting to get something from their 2nd round pick.
17) Bobby Hart – Yeah, he might be the Titans starting left tackle next week. He came in for Kendall Lamm after Lamm got run over by Frank Clark and injured. He seemed to do OK, and he has been a starter in the NFL before, so maybe there’s some hope!
18) What a Week! – Wins over the Bills and Chiefs in 7 days. That’s a heck of a week. Now they have to validate it at Indianapolis. Still before the season you looked at this part of the schedule and just wanted to get one of them. Nobody puts Vrabel in a corner.