NASHVILLE – The last time the Kansas City Chiefs were in town, Nov. 10, 2019, quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw for 446 yards, the most ever allowed by the Tennessee Titans, and three touchdowns.
The Titans won 35-32, however, with a blocked field goal as time expired and kick-started their run to that season’s AFC Championship game, which they lost at Kansas City.
The Chiefs are back on Sunday, and Mahomes will go against a Titans secondary that is without starting cornerback Kristian Fulton (hamstring), starting safety Amani Hooker (groin), backup cornerbacks Caleb Farley (knee) and Chris Jackson (ankle).
Kansas City (3-3) is one of three teams that averages better than 300 passing yards per game and leads the league with 18 touchdown passes. Tennessee (4-2) ranks 24th in the NFL with an average of 276.3 passing yards allowed per game and has allowed six completions of 40 yards or more (only two teams have given up more).
The Titans on offense, of course, feature two-time rushing champion Derrick Henry, who – all at once – can match Kansas City’s big-play potential and control the clock in a way that limits the opportunities for Mahomes and his bunch to throw it around. And the Chiefs are one of three NFL teams that allow an average of more than five yards per carry.
On to kickoff.
Kansas City won the coin toss and deferred its option until the second half. Tennessee gets the ball first.
Darrynton Evans, healthy and playing for the first time this season, is the return man. It's a touchback. The Titans will start at their own 25.
(14:02) The Titans are going no huddle – and looking to their big names. The first three plays are a pass to A.J. Brown (10 yards), a Derrick Henry run (three yards) and a pass to Julio Jones (18 yards).
(10:54) Derrick Henry’s 5-yard touchdown pass to tight end MyCole Pruitt – off a direct snap – caps an opening drive that included four passes (three by Ryan Tannehill) and four runs. All four completions were to different players. Scoring drive: 8 plays, 75 yards, 4:10. TENNESSEE 7, KANSAS CITY 0
That is Henry’s fifth career pass, including playoffs. He is 4-for-5 for 22 yards and two touchdowns.
Greg Mabin, signed this week off of Arizona’s practice squad, is the Titans’ starter at right cornerback in place of Kristian Fulton. Caleb Farley got the start on Monday but sustained a season-ending knee injury.
(7:05) Bud Dupree’s first sack for the Titans also results in a forced fumble. The Chiefs recover but it was third-and-7 and they are forced to punt. Mahomes was 3-for-3 for 21 yards passing on that drive.
(6:26) Punt returner Mason Kinsey, making his NFL debut, opts not to field the kick, and Kansas City downs it at the Titans’ 3.
(3:42) Left guard Rodger Saffold is down and being tended to by trainers. Saffold has missed parts of several games with a shoulder injury. This time it looks like his left leg.
(3:42) Mike Vrabel with his first replay challenge. Tannehill threw deep down the left sideline to A.J. Brown, but officials ruled he did not complete the catch. The play is overturned, and it is a 46-yard reception, for Brown, his longest of the season (his previous high was 22 yards) It is first down at the Kansas City 40.
Vrabel is 2-2 in replay challenges this season. He also won one against Indianapolis.
Rookie Dillon Radunz has placed Saffold at left guard. Saffold is riding the bike on the sideline and is "probable" to return with a thigh injury.
(0:48) Brown caps the drive with his second-longest reception of the season (24 yards) and his first touchdown catch since Week 1. Scoring drive: 9 plays, 97 yards, 5:34. TENNESSEE 14, KANSAS CITY 0
Brown has 83 yards on four catches. His season-high is 91 yards (on seven catches) Monday against Buffalo.
The last time the Titans scored 14 points in the first quarter was Dec. 20, 2020 against Detroit, nine games ago.
(0:00) End of the first quarter. The Titans have 153 yards on 17 plays. Tannehill is 7-7- for 114 yards with a touchdown. Kansas City has 34 yards on 11 plays.
(15:00) Denico Autry pressures Mahomes into throwing it away on third-and-11 from the Kansas City 35. The Chiefs will punt for the second time in as many possessions.
(9:53) Left tackle Kendall Lamm, starting in place of the injured Taylor Lewan, is down and grabbing at his left foot/ankle. Veteran Bobby Hart, signed earlier in the week, comes on to take his place.
The Titans are driving again. They have it first-and-10 and the Kansas City 30 following a 22-yard completion to Pruitt. Tannehill is now 10-10 for 157 yards and one touchdown.
(8:57) Tannheill’s first incomplete pass comes on his 12th throw. His attempt to Julio Jones on a slant was broken up.
(8:11) A second straight incomplete pass (also to Jones) leads to the first field goal attempt of the day. Randy Bullock’s try from 34 yards is good. Scoring drive: 12 plays, 60 yards 6:39. TENNESSEE 17, KANSAS CITY 0
The Titans did not score more than 14 first-half points in their first four games this season. In the last three it is 24, 17 and 17 (and counting).
(8:07) Kansas City’s first play is an interception. Rashaan Evans gathers in the ball after David Long deflected it. Tennessee ball at the Kansas City 46.
That is Evans’ first career interception. This is his 54th game.
The Titans announce Lamm has an ankle injury, and his return is questionable.
(2:53) Ryan Tannehill runs it in from two yards out two plays after it appeared A.J. Brown had scored on a reception (officials ruled him down at the 1). Scoring drive: 8 plays, 46 yards, 5:08. TENNESSEE 24, KANSAS CITY 0
Tannehill has scored rushing touchdowns in consecutive games for the first time this season has at least one in six of his last 10 games.
Tennessee's biggest first-half lead of the season before today was 11 points in Week 5 at Jacksonville (24-13).
(1:55) Mahomes scrambles for Kansas City’s longest gain of the day (13 yards), but Kevin Byard forces him to fumble and Matthias Farley recovers. Titans ball at their own 49 with 1:48 to play and two timeouts.
(0:51) Saffold is hurt again.
(0:24) Dillon Radunz, playing in place of Saffold, gets beat and gives up the first sack of the day, a loss of nine yards. Tannehill gathers the offense and spikes the ball with eight seconds remaining to stop the clock.
(0:08) Randy Bullock’s 51-yard field goal is good. The Titans add to their lead. Scoring drive: 8 plays, 18 yards, 1:45. TENNESSEE 27, KANSAS CITY 0
(0:00) End of the first half. Tennessee has outgained Kansas City 277-68 and has held the ball for 23:16. A.J. Brown already has 101 yards on six catches. Derrick Henry has been held to 52 yards on 17 rushes.
The 27-point halftime lead is the Titans’ biggest since Oct. 27, 2016 (27-0 vs. Jacksonville).
(11:05) Kansas City opens the half with its best possession of the game, but it stalls at the Tennessee 24. Harrison Butker gets the Chiefs on the board with a 42-yard field goal. Scoring drive: 10 plays, 51 yards, 4:00. TENNESSEE 27, KANSAS CITY 3
(7:00) Now it is right guard Nate Davis who needs attention from the trainers. Saffold returned to the game to start this drive at left guard. So, it is Radunz who fills in for Davis now.
(5:25) The Titans have had the ball for more than five minutes and still have not crossed midfield on this possession. Given their situation with injuries, the sooner they can get to the end of this game the better.
(3:39) The drive finally ends … with an interception at the Kansas City 19. Tannehill, under pressure, tried a throwback screen to Pruitt, but the Chiefs had it diagnosed from the start. Tennessee did get 7:21 off the clock.
(0:16) The Chiefs crossed midfield again, but a couple of penalties and a Denico Autry third-down sack force them to attempt another field goal (it is fourth-and-21 from the 39). Butker’s 57-yard attempt misses to the right.
(0:00) End of the third quarter. The Titans have the ball on Kansas City’s side of the field. It is second-and-5 at the Chiefs’ 48.
(13:37) After Henry is stopped for a 4-yard loss on third-and-1, Brett Kern punts for the first time in the contest. His kick goes 45 yards and out of bounds at the Kansas City 3.
(9:08) Harold Landry extends his streak with at least half a sack to five games when he drops Mahomes for a an 8-yard loss on second-and-10 from the Tennessee 17.
Landry leads the team with 7.5 sacks and has had at least one in every game but one this season.
(8:23) Mahomes is sacked again, this time by Autry on fourth-and-18 from the 25. Tennessee’s offense takes over at the 33. That’s two sacks for Autry today, four overall for the defense.
(4:34) Tennessee punts it away again. Once again, the Chiefs will start at their own 3. This time Kern punts it 49 yards with some spin that causes the ball the stop right about where it hit.
(0:08) Chad Henne replaced Mahomes at quarterback and Kansas City held the ball for nearly all of the final 4:24 (with help from an offside penalty that negated a Dane Cruikshank interception). The Mecole Hardeman fumbled at the Tennessee 6 and Rashaan Evans recovered.
(0:00) End of the game.
With the win, Tennessee improves to 5-2 on the season with five games remaining (three on the road) before its open date.
Henry finished with 86 yards on 29 carries, snapping his streak of five straight 100-yard games.
Tannehill was 21-27 for 270 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Brown led all receivers on both teams with eight catches for 133 yards and a touchdown.
Long and Cruiksjank tied for the team lead with eight tackles.
Kansas City falls to 3-4 and has yet to win consecutive games this season.