By Karen Christensen @ksc47
Titans win by the Grace of God and because Kansas City Chief’s Coach Reid called a divine intervention time out.
Titans 19 Chiefs 17
The Tennessee Titans were having some troubles at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City right from the start. The Chief’s Tyreek Hill just zipped past rookie Titans safety Kevin Byard so fast that Byard was face down on the field and helpless to try to stop Hill from scoring. It was a 68 yard run for Hill, and he got the first score of the game.
The Titans next possession saw WR Rishard Matthews catch a pass down at the KC 5 yard line, but then he fumbled the ball. Matthews had trouble throughout the game with dropping passes, the cold air at the game most likely was a factor. Chiefs QB Alex Smith ran the ball in for another TD in the first quarter and the Titans were scoreless, and the feeling of dread started to creep in…
RB Derrick Henry got a TD early in the second quarter, after a flea flicker play with a hand off to DeMarco Murray, a throw back to Marcus Mariota, and a long pass to Matthews (and he hung on to it) to get down to the 14 yard line. Things were looking a bit brighter with the score at 14-7 then the Chiefs defense sacked Mariota and forced a fumble.
Turnover number two during this game, and the Titans had done so well these past few games with no turnovers at all. The dreadful feeling is getting more intense. The Titans O-line was letting the Chiefs rush Mariota way too much. He was having to make a run for it, back pedalling, and throwing the ball away. The Chiefs scored again with a 34 yard field goal and at the end of the second quarter the score was Chiefs 17 Titans 7. “Still time to warm up and win” is the belief I’m trying to hold in my mind.
In the third quarter, QB Mariota throws an interception to KC defensive back Ron Parker, the ball was meant for Delanie Walker, and now the dread factor is massive. Turnover number 3. Turnovers lose games. The Titans players’ faces show that they are also getting that losing feeling too (or maybe they are just starting to freeze).
Luckily, LeShaun Sims intercepts a throw by Alex Smith in the Chiefs end zone and it sparks the Titans into action a bit. And then another mini drama as Coach Mularkey threw a challenge flag during this quarter, questioning if a pass by KC to Jeremy Maclin was complete. It didn’t look like Maclin had both feet in bounds but the officials ruling stands, and the Titans lose a timeout.
As the fourth quarter started, the hope you have for your team is still there, but after years of heartache, it is hard to hang onto that hope. Marcus Mariota threw another incomplete pass to Richard Matthews, and handed the ball to DeMarco Murray time after time but the Titans just couldn’t get a TD off of a Mariota pass this time. Ryan Succop kicked a 34 yard field goal to get the score to 17-10 with just a little bit more that eleven minutes left in the game. And a tiny glimmer of hope is still alive for Titans Nation.
As the end of the game nears, Mariota has gotten his team down to the Kansas City one yard line with 3+ minutes left in the final quarter. And our much loved Heisman winning RB Derrick Henry gets his second touchdown of the game and the score is Chiefs 17 – Titans 16. The Titans are going for two to try to get the win and end this game out in the freezing cold. But no! Mariota is sacked. Why was he trying to throw the ball, why didn’t he just run it in? Rats! The Titans have no timeouts left.
The ‘dreadful feeling’ rating is at maximum level. The Chiefs next possession of the ball doesn’t last too long, and they have to punt. Marcus Mariota, the miracle worker, gets the Titans to the 50 yard line and spikes the ball at the Kansas City 35 yard line.
Kicker Ryan Succop is set to try a 53 yard field goal and during the first kick, Chief’s head coach Andy Reid calls for a Chiefs time out. Which is absolutely fabulous, because the first kick was short. Now after that “warm up kick” Succop knows he needs to kick harder to make the field goal. And he nailed it.
Titans win 19 to 17. Thanks coach Reid for letting our kicker have a warm up kick. I’d like to think that our former kicker Rob Bironas (RIP) was looking down from heaven and provided some kind of special touch to that winning kick.
This win under these circumstances was a shocking situation, the look of disbelief was on both teams’ faces for a few seconds. I saw Titans coach Dick LeBeau clutching his chest and hanging onto another staffer’s arm and head coach Mularkey was almost falling on his knees and covering his face to hide the tears. The Mighty Titans prevailed, and the temperature was only at 1 degree Fahrenheit at kick off time.
Next week, the Titans travel to Jacksonville, Florida to play the 2-12 Jaguars. The temperature for Saturday’s Christmas Eve game is supposed to be 73 degrees. The Jaguars fired their head coach Gus Bradley at the end of their game after a loss to the Houston Texans. Why bother at this time in the season?
The Jags will have home field advantage and I’m sure a new coach will help to fire the team up and they will try to be season end spoilers for the Titans.
At the end of Sunday’s game, the Titans had a few injured players: Safety DaNorris Searcy is under concussion protocol, CB Jason McCourty has a chest injury, and Karl Klug (who was hurt in last week’s game also) has a knee injury. The guys have until Saturday to heal up, please.
The Titans are tied with the Houston Texans for first in the divisional standings. The Texans actually benched their starting QB Brock Osweiler this past game against the Jaguars and they still defeated the Jags. The Texans and Titans will play in Nashville, TN for the final regular season game on Sunday, January 1st. The Texans defeated the Titans on October 2nd, 27-20.
At worst, the Titans will only be playing for the divisional title, and that is only if they defeat Jacksonville next week. It has been such a weird football season this year, it is difficult to figure out who needs to lose and who needs to win in each division to see who has a playoff chance. The stars need to align again like they did this week to keep the Tennessee Titans in play to finally get into a playoff game. Fingers crossed and prayers up.
Featured image Derrick Henry gets another TD courtesy: Denny Medley/USA Today sports
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