Short week after playing on Monday night, a letdown after a big victory over Buffalo, several injured players ...
The Titans seemingly had several factors working against them as they prepared to face the Chiefs on Sunday in Nashville.
Didn’t matter as Tennessee manhandled the Chiefs 27-3, an outcome that leaves Kansas City with a record of 3-4.
KC STAR OF THE GAME
Let’s give it to Willie Gay Jr., whose third-quarter interception was the Chiefs’ lone highlight. Rookie linebacker Nick Bolton turned in an excellent game with 15 tackles.
Next: The Chiefs make this season’s only appearance on Monday Night Football when they take on the New York Giants at Arrowhead Stadium a week from Monday. Kickoff is 7:15 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPN.
Passing offense: F
How did Patrick Mahomes become a turnover machine? Another occurred early in Sunday’s game when his bad decision met some bad luck on a forced pass to Byron Pringle that was deflected and intercepted.
It was Mahomes’ ninth pick this season and he’s now had one or more in six straight games. Mahomes was made uncomfortable and indecisive by a low-rated defense. We haven’t seen him like this in a Chiefs uniform.
Also bad: How about that hands-to-the-face penalty on O-lineman Mike Remmers to nullify Tyreek Hill’s first reception? Rookie guard Trey Smith was called for two holding penalties, too. This was probably the worst game of the season season for the Chiefs’ revamped offensive line. (New left tackle Orlando Brown is not going to like watching Sunday’s game tape, either. He was beat often.)
Mahomes was helped off the field after a fourth-quarter sack and Chad Henne finished the game. Mahomes’ streak of 31 games with a touchdown pass came to an end.
Rushing offense: D
A couple of good Darrel Williams runs early became inconsequential as the Chiefs fell deeper in the hole.
Mahomes’ fumble just before halftime was sadly predictable. The Titans’ first half time of possession edge was 23:16 to 6:44. The Chiefs wanted this to be a Williams game, where they’d get a lead and run clock on the ground. Just the opposite happened.
Bottom line: It’s stunning how a medicore defense shut down one of the NFL’s top offenses.
Passing defense: F
Tennessee brought its A-game, no doubt about it. But the Chiefs turned Ryan Tannehill into a Hall of Famer for a day.
This was equal-opportunity failure across the KC defense, but let’s start with the back end. L’Jarius Sneed’s pass-interference penalty was a big moment on the Titans’ opening-possession touchdown drive.
Give Derrick Henry credit for his touchdown on the pop pass. But the rest of this grade, the Chiefs earned themselves. Rashad Fenton was penalized for holding and the Titans motored on for the touchdown that made it 24-0. Tannehill had been sacked more than any quarterback this season (20 times), but the Chiefs didn’t get to him until the end of the first half.
A hat-tip to Willie Gay Jr. for his third-quarter interception. It was a great play that was too little, too late, and probably should have been nullified by late hit on Tannehill by Sneed. The Chiefs caught a break there.
Rushing defense: C
At halftime, Henry had 52 rushing yards. If you’d have asked the Chiefs before the game if they’d have taken such a total, the nods would have been enthusiastic.
But because the Chiefs couldn’t solve Tannehill, the Titans didn’t need to lean on the run. If the Chiefs get credit for anything Sunday, it was holding Henry to 3 yards per carry. He entered the game averaging 7.1. Henry finished with 86 yards and looked frustrated when he left the field in the fourth quarter,
Special teams : D
Harrison Butker’s 42-yarder gave the Chiefs their only points. The ball hit the right upright and skirted through. Christian Rozeboom made his NFL debut and delivered a nice tackle on a kickoff return.
But confusion reigned at the end of the third quarter, forcing the Chiefs to take a timeout. Afterward, Butker’s attempt was wide from 57 yards, his first miss this season.
It was that kind of day.