3 takeaways from Titans AFC Championship loss to Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes’ Touchdown run was momentum dagger
The Titans came out swinging to start the game, as they jumped out to a quick 17-7 lead in the first half. Henry found the end zone on the team’s first drive and seemed like he was destined for another monstrous game. Arthur Smith displayed his creative play calling early as well by calling a touchdown pass to Tennessee’s favorite “eligible receiver” Dennis Kelly.
Unfortunately for the Titans and their fans, they were playing arguably the most explosive offense in the NFL. Within the blink of an eye the Titans went from a 10-point lead to trailing by four at the half. The defense did a solid job of containing superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes early on, but there is one play that this team undoubtedly wishes they could have back.
Just before the half, the Chiefs got the ball back following a conservative three-and-out from the Titans. This left them with enough time for one last drive to potentially tie or take the lead. In typical Mahomes fashion, the offense walked down the field and got inside Tennessee’s 30-yard line in a hurry. The Titans now had 23 seconds to protect 27 yards of grass, something that is not an easy task when facing someone with a cannon like Mahomes.
However, just the passing threat of Mahomes ultimately forced Titans defenders to hesitate on leaving their assignment, which left an alley for the Chiefs quarterback to run through. He broke free towards the sideline and scampered his way to a touchdown that gave the Chiefs a lead going into the half.
It was a less than ideal situation for the Titans considering the fact that the Chiefs received the ball after halftime. They worked to put themselves in a two-possession lead over the Chiefs, only to watch it evaporate and turn into a deficit in the blink of an eye.
Had the Titans at least held the Chiefs to a field goal before the half we may have been talking about a different outcome, or maybe we wouldn’t. But that 27-yard touchdown run undoubtedly took both the momentum and the lead away from Tennessee and unfortunately the Titans could not get either of them back.