Kelly Catches a Piece of Playoff History

David Boclair

Dennis Kelly set an NFL record Sunday when he caught his second pass of the season.

The reserve tackle gave the Tennessee Titans a 17-7 lead over the Kansas City Chiefs when he caught a 1-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Tannehill with 6:39 to play in the first half.

That made him – at 321 pounds – the heaviest man to score a touchdown in a playoff game.

That moment was as good as it got for the Titans. Kansas City scored the next 28 points, and Tennessee's improbable run through the postseason ended one game short of the Super Bowl with a 35-24 defeat.

Kelly, who is 6-foot-7, was one of two Tennessee offensive linemen to catch a touchdown pass during the regular season. He scored on a 1-yard reception at Jacksonville on Nov. 24. David Quessenberry did the same Sept. 15 against Indianapolis.

The touchdown pass was Tannehill’s fourth of the postseason. Only one was to a wide receiver (Kalif Raymond). The other two went to tight ends, Jonnu Smith and Anthony Firkser, who added a fourth-quarter score against the Chiefs and became the only Tennessee player with multiple touchdown catches in the postseason.

Acquired in a trade with Philadelphia in 2016, Kelly routinely has lined up as an extra tight end over the past four seasons and even has been credited with seven starts in that role. He has done so under three different head coaches (Ken Whisenhunt, Mike Mularkey and Mike Vrabel) but never had a pass thrown in his direction before this season.

His brother, Tim Kelly, is the offensive coordinator for the Houston Texans. So, he presumably has a little more offensive insight than most offensive linemen.

Kelly was one of 10 different Titans to catch a pass in the AFC Championship and one of 12 with at least one reception in the playoffs.

Comments (2)
No. 1-2

The Henry effect


That was a great play call and really good catch. Always fun to see the big men score!

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