Nearly all analysts are picking the Chiefs over Titans

In a game where almost every single national media member, outside of ESPN's Randy Moss and NFL Network's Adam Rank, gave the Tennessee Titans no chance to win, the Two-Tone Blue pulled off an 18-point comeback to beat the Kansas City Chiefs 22-21 and advance to the AFC Divisional Round.

Marcus Mariota threw two touchdown passes, including one to himself, and picked up the biggest block of the game on a 3rd down situation late in the fourth period to ice the game.

On the second play of the fourth quarter, Titans running back Derrick Henry broke free for a 35-yard touchdown run.

The Chiefs are likely letting the rest of the National Football League know to prepare their trade offers in the instance that they make their starting quarterback available on the open market. 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. 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. But if the Bills win, the Titans will face the Pittsburgh Steelers next Sunday.

The Chiefs lead the Titans 14-0 at the end of the first quarter, which is precisely the same score after 15 minutes when these teams met in the regular season in 2016.


The Chiefs needed a break, and seemed to get it when Peters stripped the ball from Henry; Johnson recovered the ball and ran it back 56 yards. What was much less surprising is that Triplette would be in the middle of several controversial calls in a game that ended with Tennessee eking out a 22-21 win. And for the second year in a row, the Titans beat the Chiefs on their own home turf. Meanwhile, Tennessee (9-7) has lost three of its last four and is 3-5 on the road this season.

Smith is 8 of 11 for 154 yards and the score.

Tennessee won the coin toss and deferred to the second half.

Gruden is providing the color analysis for ESPN's broadcast of the Chiefs-Titans playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium. I don't want to get fined.

And with an hour left before kickoff, the usual snarl of traffic getting into the parking lots was relatively light.

  • Steve Townsend