Chiefs vs. points. Titans, takeaway: Patrick Mahomes uses his legs to force overtime, lifts KC beyond Tennessee

In a game where it looked like they would be physically pushed into the losing circuit, Patrick Mahomes managed to lift the Chiefs to a 20-17 win over the Titans in overtime Sunday night.

Kansas City found itself 17-9 behind Tennessee with just over seven minutes left to play on the list and face 3rd and 17th mode. That was when Mahomes scrambled 20 yards to keep the lead—hoping the Chiefs back—alive and he would eventually come back. To land for 14 yards and convert two points to hold the game at 17 yards. This led to an overtime period as Mahomes once again put on a goal-scoring drive, and Chiefs’ attack traveled 64 yards down the field to set a 28-yard field goal for Harrison Boetker. From there, the defense took care of the rest, sacking Malik Willis twice to finish the win and go 6-2 on the season.

Passing issues were a major factor in the Titans’ inability to pull out of the way. Willis completed five of 16 pass attempts for 80 yards in loss. Derek Henry rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns, but most of that production came in the first half. Meanwhile, Mahomes was 43 of 63 for 446 yards, a pickaxe sand landing. Travis Kelce was his favorite, pulling 10 of his 17 goals for 106 yards.

For a more in-depth breakdown of how this game developed, check out the takeaways below.

Why did the presidents win?

The Chiefs desperately needed some semblance of a running game and simply weren’t getting it from their stable backs like Isiah Pacheco, Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Jerick McKinnon combined for just 14 yards on 12 buggies. Due to incompetence on the ground, Tennessee was willing to sit in cover and pack things up in high school. So, Patrick Mahomes had to take it alone hands legs. Not only did he rush to get 63 yards high for the team, but those gains on the ground were the difference between Chiefs winning and losing this game.

In the relegation run in the fourth quarter alone, Mahomes had three notable stampedes that converted the third and seventeenth score, scoring a touchdown equalizer for the game, and a two-point conversion. While those lunges will grab the most headlines, Mahomes also used his legs to extend plays and set up throws on the field. In overtime, he blasted into a third-and-a-half and completed an astonishing 27-yard pass to Noah Gray that put them deep into the Tennessee field goal setting.

Defensively, the Chiefs did a solid job of slowing Tennessee’s biggest offensive weapon: Derek Henry. After the first half where he rushed for 92 yards and two touchdowns, Kavkaz Center caught Henry to 23 yards and sped up over eight moves over the second half and overtime.

Why did the Titans lose

Tennessee defined the way this game would be played from the start and welcomed the rock fight. The Titans’ physical strength – particularly in defense – was evident throughout the game and overshadowed Kansas City. They even got to Mahomes for four sacks and eight quarterback strokes, while constantly knocking him out of the pocket. In the attack, they were throwing similar haymakers with Derek Henry, who was plowing the line of melee.

While this technique forced the Chiefs’ hand and helped the Titans jump to a 14-6 lead in the first half, the club’s inability to pass football was their ultimate loss. At one point in the second half, that physical style was thrown out the window and owner Willis was suddenly forced into a situation where he had to push his team to victory and keep up with Patrick Mahomes. And he couldn’t.

Willis threw for -2 yards in the second inning and overtime, and no Titans wide receiver was able to pull in at one point. The inability to move the ball through the air was evident below the stretch in regulation when the Titans had the opportunity to take the field and set up a game-winning campaign. After Mahomes touched down to tie the game at 17, Tennessee recovered the ball with less than three minutes to play. The offense went three times and traveled 4 yards where Willis was patchy and took a sack. The Giants even had another shot late in the fourth inning after recovering the ball with 35 seconds, but Willis threw three times in a row as he shot the ball wide.

In overtime, Willis was sacked twice and threw a shortfall into the fourth and 26th places to freeze the Kansas City game.

Since Tennessee couldn’t do anything through the air, they were 1 of 12 in third and fourth. This kind of conversion rate won’t earn you a lot of games.

turning point

The Titans took a 17-9 lead when Patrick Mahomes faced a third stop and 17 from his 31-yard streak and 7:11 left on the clock. If Kansas City were unable to turn, they likely made a mistake in Tennessee who would have been happy to give the ball to Derek Henry to try and burn as much time as possible to increase their chances of pulling out in anger. Even as the Mahomes were pressured and the Titans’ high-school coverage stood strong, the quarterback relied on his rights to pull 20 yards from a scramble that moved the chains.

As had been the case for most of the night, Mahomes was taken out of pocket by the pressure and was able to work his way through the defenders for the first time.

That diversion was the catalyst for the 13-game, 93-yard touchdown drive that — thanks to two more runs from Mahomes — tied the game at 17 and forced overtime.

play the game

While the third and 17th conversion kept comeback hopes alive, it was Mahomes’ quick 12-yard touchdown that swung the entire momentum in favor of Kansas City. In a similar circumstance to the previous scramble, the Mahomes did not have an open receiver and was quickly taken out of the pocket. He was able to dump Jeffrey Simmons around the 6-yard line as the two hit the right side and then Mahomes slashed his shoulder to lead into the end zone.

After a series of penalty kicks, Mahomes relied on his legs again in the two-point conversion attempt, sprinting left toward the edifice to tie the match at 17.

What’s Next

From here, the Chiefs will stick around Arrowhead and wait for the Jacksonville Jaguars, who take another win over the Raiders. As for the Titans, they will return to Nashville and prepare for their week 10 game with the Denver Broncos, who will become the Newborns.

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