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The Tennessee Titans were facing a 21-3 halftime deficit against the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Wild Card Round on Saturday Evening on the road. Eric Decker caught the game winning 22-yard touchdown pass from Marcus Mariota with 6:06 remaining in the game as the Titans defeated the Chiefs 22-21. This was the Titans first playoff victory since 2003 (at) Baltimore Ravens 20-17.
The Chiefs still haven’t won a home playoff game since 1994. Kareem Hunt scored on a 1-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Hunt only rushed for 42 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown. Hunt also caught three passes for five yards. Later in the first, Travis Kelce caught a 13-yard touchdown pass from Alex Smith. Kelce caught four passes for 66 yards receiving and a touchdown. Kelce left the game with a concussion and he did not return.
With Kansas City leading 14-3 before halftime, Demarcus Robinson caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from Alex Smith. Robinson caught four passes for 57 yards receiving and a touchdown. Smith completed 24-of-33 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns. Tyreek Hill was the Chiefs leading receiver with seven receptions for 87 yards. He also had 14 rushing yards on one carry.
On the first drive of the second half, Marcus Mariota threw a pass on third down and it was batted in the air, but Mariota caught it and scored on a 6-yard touchdown. It looked as if Mariota was over the line of scrimmage and head coach Andy Reid should have challenged it, but the Chiefs never challenged it. Harrison Butker missed a key 48-yard field goal in the third-quarter for the Chiefs and went off the left upright.
Early in the fourth, Derrick Henry scored on a 35-yard touchdown run for the Titans. Henry rushed for 156 yards on 23 carries and a touchdown. Demarco Murray was ruled out for the second straight game with a knee injury.
Mariota completed 19-of-31 passes for 205 yards two touchdowns and one interception. He also rushed for 46 yards on eight carries. Mariota also had one reception for six yards and a touchdown. Decker caught two passes for 21 yards receiving and a touchdown. Delanie Walker was the Titans leading receiver with six receptions for 74 yards.
After the two-minute warning, Derrick Henry was clearly down by contact and it appeared as if the ref blew the whistle, but the Chiefs decided to run back a Henry fumble anyways for a touchdown. After video replay, it was confirmed that Henry was down back contact. Two plays later on a third-and-10, Derrick Henry received a handoff and Marcus Mariota threw a block and Henry picked up 22 yards to seal the game.
The Tennessee Titans will either play on the road against the Pittsburgh Steelers (13-3) next Sunday or the New England Patriots (13-3) next Saturday Night. The Kansas City Chiefs go one and done for the second consecutive season and it is a bitter disappointment for them again. The future will be interesting for head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Alex Smith.