Chiefs collapse late, fall to Titans 22-21 in playoff opener
07 January, 2018, 05:48 | Author: Carla Brady
The Titans needed a win in their regular-season finale and some help to earn a wild-card spot as the AFC's fifth seed.
Mularkey has an 18-14 record in two full seasons as the Titans' head coach, after the Titans went 5-27 in the two previous years. But the Rams have what it takes to advance, especially in running back Todd Gurley, an MVP candidate.
Mariota, whose pass was batted by Darrelle Revis, snagged the ball and dove into the end zone, capping a 15-play, 91-yard drive that lasted 8½ minutes.
Accentuating the ominousness was a an interception thrown by QB Marcus Mariota, who didn't see playmaking Chiefs CB Marcus Peters peel off the WR and jump TE Delanie Walker's route.
Check here for injury reports for all the postseason games. The Titans were getting ready to play their first playoff game since 2008, and the news was surely a bit of a distraction for Mularkey and for the team.
And expectations for this season skyrocketed after the Titans went 9-7 in 2016, the six-win increase from its 3-13 mark the previous year setting the largest single-season turnaround in franchise history. But tight end Travis Kelce's concussion shortly before halftime derailed the passing game, as quarterback Alex Smith struggled to replicate his early success as the offense was held scoreless in the final 30 minutes.
This was the first touchdown of the game for the Titans, who were blown out, 21-3, in the first half. They could only muster negative-two yards on three plays, and their long field goal attempt was shanked off the left upright by Harrison Butker. Their helmets also collided and Kelce appeared to be dazed when he got to his feet.
The clock wound down and the Titans won their first playoff game since the 2003 season. But review of the play showed Henry was down before the ball came loose.
In addition to throwing more than 200 yards, Mariota rushed eight times for 46 yards, out rushing the NFL's leading rusher in Kareem Hunt. Henry finished with 156 yards on 23 carries. But if the Bills win, the Titans will face the Pittsburgh Steelers next Sunday.
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