KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)Patrick Mahomes ran for the tying touchdown and 2-point conversion late in the fourth quarter, Harrison Butker atoned for two earlier misses by kicking the go-ahead field goal in overtime, and the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Tennessee Titans 20-17 on Sunday night.
Mahomes was 43 of 68 for 446 yards with a touchdown and an interception, and Mecole Hardman also had a TD run, as the Chiefs (6-2) rallied from a 17-9 deficit to beat the Titans for only the second time in the last seven meetings.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid improved to 21-3 coming off a bye by beating a franchise that has long been his nemesis. He was just 2-9 against the Titans – heck, Reid has three wins against the Chiefs – including a 27-3 loss in Nashville last year.
Things were spiraling toward another disappointment the way Derrick Henry was chewing up yardage against the Kansas City defense, and the way the Titans (5-3) were shutting down Mahomes and Co. into the fourth quarter.
Indeed, time was running out on the Chiefs when they took over at their own 7-yard line. But in vintage Mahomes fashion, the strong-armed quarterback willed his team downfield. His 20-yard scramble on third-and-17 kept the drive going, and his third-and-9 touchdown scramble along with his 2-point conversion run knotted the game with 2:56 to go.
After the Chiefs won the coin toss, the Titans nearly stopped them near midfield, but Noah Gray made a spectacular catch on third-and-1 to keep the drive alive. Then, when they had the Chiefs facing fourth-and-1 at the Titans 13, Mahomes found JuJu Smith-Schuster for a first down that kept the drive alive – and the clock moving.
Butker drilled his 28-yarder to give Kansas City the lead with 4:04 left in overtime.
The Chiefs proceeded to stuff Henry, then sacked Titans rookie Malik Willis on back-to-back plays, before batting down his fourth-down throw to end the game and send fireworks flying into the sky above Arrowhead Stadium.
Henry finished with 115 yards rushing and two touchdowns for the Titans. But he didn’t get a whole lot of help from Willis, who got his second start in place of the injured Ryan Tannehill, and was just 5 of 16 for 80 yards.
The Chiefs figured the best way to shut down Henry, who had run for 219 yards and two touchdowns last week against Houston, was to keep him off the field. They opened the game with a 15-play march that took up 8 1/2 minutes and ended in a field goal, then forced a punt and went 79 yards with Mahomes finding Hardman for the touchdown.
All told, the Chiefs held the ball nearly 13 of the 15 minutes in the first quarter.
The Titans finally got going in the second, and it was Willis using his legs to get Kansas City off balance. The fleet-footed rookie twice scrambled for good yardage before Henry turned a direct snap into a 4-yard TD run.
After forcing a punt, Henry went to work again. He slipped through the line untouched and was finally dragged down 56 yards later. Then, the 247-pound running back pounded into the end zone to give the Titans a 14-9 lead.
It was Henry’s 74th career touchdown run, moving him past Earl Campbell for the most in franchise history.
The Chiefs, meanwhile, proved entirely incapable of running the ball. And with the Titans no longer worried about stopping the rush, they began to relentlessly pressure Mahomes in the pocket. Denico Autry’s first sack forced a punt, then his second on third-and-1 near midfield prevented Kansas City from getting points just before halftime.
The Titans eventually extended the lead when Mahomes was picked off by rookie Roger McCreary, setting up Randy Bullock’s 44-yard field goal. But their own offense started to fizzle, and despite Butker’s missed field goal – he also missed an earlier extra point – the Chiefs managed to get the late touchdown they needed to force overtime.
Tannehill was limited in practice Wednesday and Friday but did not practice at all Thursday and was questionable for the game. He tried warming up but never planted his ailing ankle before walking off the field with Tennessee coach Mike Vrabel about two hours before kickoff. He was made inactive 30 minutes later.
Titans: FS Josh Thompson left in the second half with a knee injury. LB Bud Dupree left with a hip injury.
Chiefs: CB Jaylen Watson landed awkwardly on his neck in the first half, though he eventually returned to the game.
The Titans return home to face Denver on Sunday.
The Chiefs get a visit from Jacksonville on Sunday.
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