Titans @ Chiefs
Final Score: Chiefs 20, Titans 17
Writer: Justin Herrera (@Semtexmex93 on Twitter)
In a battle of AFC juggernauts, the Tennessee Titans traveled to Arrowhead to play the Kansas City Chiefs. In a clash of styles between the run-the-rock and-play defense team and the air raid offense. This game got off to a 9-0 start, with the Chiefs scoring on their first two drives. Then the Titans stormed back using their best asset Derrick Henry and got some help from the defensive line to take a 14-9 lead going into the half. In the second half, both teams’ defense took over, with the Titans picking off Pat Mahomes and the Chiefs sacking Malik Willis and keeping Henry to 23 yards. On the most important drive of the game for the Chiefs, Mahomes took it into his own hands and scored a rushing touchdown to tie up the game. Overtime was necessary to settle this battle of AFC studs, and the Chiefs took the ball first and scored a field goal. While the Titans continued their offensive woes and went four and out, ending the game. The result was Kansas City Chiefs 20, Tennessee Titans 17.
Malik Willis: 5/16, 80 Yards | 8 Carries, 40 Yards
Malik Willis with a BEAUTIFUL back shoulder pass 👀 pic.twitter.com/OOzKM7QB7G
— NFL Rookie Watch (@NFLRookieWatxh) November 7, 2022
Malik Willis got the start in this important AFC seeding game. Willis came out firing as he connect with Chigoziem Okonwo for a 48-yard catch and run. After the Chiefs scored, Willis stepped back on the field and came unhinged as a runner. Willis ran the ball twice for 24 yards and slang a 16-yard pass to tight end Austin Hooper. This led to the first of Derrick Henry‘s touchdowns. On the next drive, Willis used his connection with Austin Hooper to throw a tremendous back-shoulder pass for 18 yards, setting up Henry’s second-game score.
The Titans would start the second half with the ball, but an ineligible man downfield penalty would halt any momentum the Titans wished to gain. Willis is a talent, but Tennessee’s receiving core has been atrocious, with the rookie putting passes in good spots but receivers just dropping them. The overall problem became that the Chiefs started getting good pressure on the third-round pick. Willis threw for -2 yards in the second half and faltered in overtime, getting sacked twice in a row before nearly getting picked off. There were moments where he used his legs, but this is a learning experience for the rookie. And for the Titans, take a gander at Justin Fields and look at what Malik Willis could be in this offense.
Derrick Henry: 17 Carries, 115 Yards, 2 TD
Dontrell Hilliard: 3 Carries, 12 Yards | 1 Target, 1 Reception, -4 Yards
Hassan Haskins: 1 Carry, 5 Yards | 1 Target, 1 Reception, 2 Yards
Derrick Henry: 8 carries for 88 yards and 2 TDs. What a STUD 🔥 pic.twitter.com/XmL8pNr8RR
— Bussin' With The Boys 🐺 (@BussinWTB) November 7, 2022
Derrick Henry got started on the game’s second drive, making a big 24-yard run before taking a direct snap for a four-yard touchdown. On the Titan’s very next drive, Henry would break off a 56-yard outside run on the first play and eventually finish it off with a one-yard touchdown, his second of the game. Outside of the 80 yards on the two big runs, Henry carried the ball 15 times for 35 yards. What became more apparent is that in the second half, the Titans couldn’t get Henry going. As the man they dub “King,” Henry only ran the ball eight times for 23 yards in the second half and overtime. That’s not the winning formula, and the Titans know it. Especially when Dontrell Hillard and Hassan Haskins combine to add 15 scrimmage yards. The Titans got away from their game plan, and the Chiefs deserve credit for making them do this in the second half.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Chigoziem Okonkwo: 3 Targets, 1 Reception, 48 Yards
Austin Hooper: 3 Targets, 2 Receptions, 34 Yards
Robert Woods: 2 Targets
Chris Conley: 1 Target
Cody Hollister: 1 Target
Nick Westbrook-Ikhine: 1 Target
CHIGOZIEM OKONKWO: best name in the #NFL?
— NFL Canada (@NFLCanada) November 7, 2022
This Titans receiving core is cringe-worthy at best. Division two colleges might have better receivers than the Tennessee Titans. The unit got off to a good start, with Chigoziem Okonkwo catching a short pass and extending it for 48 yards. Looked like the Titans would surprise a few people this week as in the next two drives, Austin Hooper showed up to get the team downfield. Catching 16 and 18-yard passes to get the Titans into scoring position, and the team would cash in. Unfortunately, this is the end of the actual receiving stats; this team had nothing going for it after this. In the second half, the Titans had -2 receiving yards…the Titans need to invest capital this off-season into receivers. I won’t blame it all on Willis because a lot of these receivers dropped passes that were put right in their belly. This team has a glaring hole; until they fill it, their opponents can scheme up a way to take them off the field.
Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes: 43/68, 446 Yards, TD, INT | 6 Carries, 63 Yards, TD
— NFL (@NFL) November 7, 2022
Patrick Mahomes started his first drive by going eight of eleven for 66 yards and added a 16-yard scramble. The Chiefs’ opening drive would fall short due to an untimely holding penalty. Forcing them to settle for a field goal. Mahomie would get it going on the next drive, hitting the deep ball to Travis Kelce and Justin Watson for 23 yards and 31 yards, respectively. This drive would finish up with Mahomes tossing a seven-yard pass to Mecole Hardman. The Titans would get a grasp of Mahomes and take away Kelce for the rest of the first half, only allowing three first downs on the next three drives.
On his first drive, Mahomes would get intercepted off a dump-off pass that Kelce tipped in the air, leading to a Titans field goal. Mahomes was consistently under pressure on the next drive and used short passes to get the Chiefs downfield and missed on a pass to Watson in the end zone. This led to a field goal attempt that was missed. The Titans had the lead with nine minutes left in the quarter, and Mahomes put the team on his back. Completing seven of nine passes for 66 yards, the Mahome’s legs got it done. Picking up 20 yards on a third and 17 and taking in a 14-yard touchdown on the ground and the two-point conversion.
Overtime! The Chiefs got the ball first, and Mahomes took to the air with Kelce, completing two straight passes for 22 yards. Mahomes used his elusive legs to escape a sack and drop a dime into Noah Grey for 27 yards, putting the Chiefs in field goal position. That wasn’t enough for Mahomes and company as they would pass up a field goal on fourth and 1 and catch JuJu Smith-Schuster on a flat route for the first down. The Chiefs eventually would settle for the game-leading field goal. Overall, Mahomes had 400 yards in a game that looked like a struggle for the majority of it, which speaks volumes to the team that the Chiefs are going into Week 10.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire: 4 Carries, 5 Yards | 2 Targets, 1 Reception, 14 Yards
Isiah Pacheco: 5 Carries, 5 Yards | 1 Target, 1 Reception, 4 Yards
Jerick McKinnon: 3 Carries, 4 Yards | 8 Targets, 6 Receptions, 40 Yards
Michael Burton: 1 Carry | 1 Target, 1 Reception, 9 Yards
PAT MAHOMES JUST TOOK OVER. 🔥
— Coolbet Canada 🇨🇦 (@CoolbetCanada) November 7, 2022
Patrick Mahomes was the most impressive rusher for the Chiefs on Sunday, rushing for 63 yards and a 14-yard touchdown. That says everything about the game plan for the Chiefs; outside of Mahomes, the RBs for the team ran for 14 yards. The most impressive outing belonged to Jerick McKinnon, who caught six of eight targets for 40 yards and was a great short-route runner and dump-off guy. He was able to alleviate Mahomes at times from the pressure of the Tennessee Titans’ defensive pass rush.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Travis Kelce: 17 Targets, 10 Receptions, 106 Yards
JuJu Smith-Schuster: 12 Targets, 10 Receptions, 88 Yards
Mecole Hardman: 9 Targets, 6 Receptions, 79 Yards, TD
Noah Gray: 3 Targets, 3 Receptions, 45 Yards
Justin Watson: 5 Targets, 2 Receptions, 37 Yards
Marquez Valdes-Scantling: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 12 Yards
Kadarius Toney: 2 Targets, 2 Receptions, 12 Yards
Skyy Moore: 1 Target
— Wes on Broadway (@TitansStats) November 7, 2022
Travis Kelce was a big part of this game as both a receiver and a decoy. He started off the game by catching a big 23-yard pass to get the Chiefs in line to score their first touchdown of the game. Kelce had a rocky game, as he was the cause of Mahomes’ only interception of the game and dropped key passes. The good thing is that Mahomes will never get away from the often double-teamed Kelce, going to him on the final drive. To the tune of three catches for 30 yards, helping to set up the game-winning field goal.
JuJu Smith-Schuster has been a huge underneath help to the Chiefs. This week he was essential in his role-making plays on every scoring drive. He caught 10 of 12 targets for 88 yards and never made a play bigger than 17 yards. JuJu continues to be a big part of the game plan going forward.
Mecole Hardman caught six passes for 79 yards and a seven-yard touchdown pass. His speed made him a threat in this game, still involving him in the pop pass game. Hardman also did great work as the team’s return man, using his speed to take the edge and get the Chiefs into a great field position. Hardman’s most explosive play was the regulation-ending one that saw the defense drop seven players back for a hail mary leaving the middle of the field open for a 33-yard gain.
Noah Grey had a monster 27-yard catch in overtime to get the Chiefs on the Titans’ side of the field and was instrumental in the success of that drive. Justin Watson had a big 31-yard catch on the game’s second drive, which led to a TD for Hardman. We also got to see Kadarius Toney in his first snaps since being traded from the Giants.