KC Chiefs grind out tough overtime win over Titans in Week 9

Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs pulled out a tough overtime win over the Tennessee Titans in primetime in Week 9.

Mike Vrabel came into Week 9 with a mission to make sure no one was going to take the Tennessee Titans lightly again. It was “mission accomplished” for the Titans on that front, but it still wasn’t enough to overcome the fourth-quarter magic of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Coming into the weekend, the Titans were preparing to visit the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium with a laughable line courtesy of Las Vegas oddsmakers. The early line for the week had the Chiefs as 12.5 point favorites and it even moved even more to 14 after word leaked that Malik Willis would start at quarterback for Tennessee. It didn’t take long for the disbelief to fade as the Titans proved to be a much more formidable opponent than anyone thought they would be on Sunday Night Football for the Chiefs. Fortunately for the home team, the Chiefs were still able to hold off the Titans for a 20-17 overtime victory.

The first few minutes of the game looked like the sort of one-sided affair that the game was predicted to be. The Chiefs got the ball to start the game and put up nine straight points on the Titans with two long drives that ended with a Harrison Butker chip shot field goal followed by a short touchdown catch-and-run by Mecole Hardman. From there, however, the Titans were able to change the tone and tempo of the game to match their preferences for a gritty, physical matchup.

Once the Titans got into the second quarter, Derrick Henry started moving and he could not be stopped. Even after having zero yards in the first quarter, he finished the second with nearly 100 yards and 2 touchdowns as the Titans put together back-to-back scoring drives to take a 14-9 lead over the Chiefs. Malik Willis had a couple of solid passes, but it was largely about Henry’s ability to move the chains even against a loaded box that was so impressive. During this stretch, the Titans’ defense also came up big in slowing the Chiefs, who committed a number of costly penalties in the second quarter as well.

The Chiefs’ defense came out in the second half with some impressive stops, but the Chiefs’ offense still couldn’t get much going at first. After forcing a Titans punt to start the third quarter, Patrick Mahomes threw an interception on a pass tipped forward by Travis Kelce that was ultimately grabbed by Titans cornerback Roger McCreary. The Chiefs’ defense would hold the Titans to a field goal by Randy Bullock despite the short field position, but the offense could only muster a short drive before watching Butker miss a 47-yard field goal.

By the time the fourth quarter rolled around on Sunday evening, the Chiefs still had the same 9 points earned on the first two drives of the game. The Titans played it conservatively and the Chiefs’ offense couldn’t get rolling as defenses keyed in with excellent adjustments and execution. The result was five consecutive punts from late in the third quarter until midway through the fourth.

Finally, well into the final quarter, the Chiefs put together some offensive momentum that featured key catches by Marquez Valdes-Scantling and JuJu Smith-Schuster before watching Mahomes himself take over the game with an incredible 14-yard scramble for the touchdown that would bring the Chiefs within two points. From there, several penalties kept the Chiefs’ two-point conversion dreams alive until Mahomes ran it in on the third attempt to tie the game with less than three minutes left in regulation.

From there, both offenses would stall again at the worst possible time—the Titans would only earn 38 total yards of offense in the second half—which forced the game to go to overtime after failed attempts by Mahomes and Willis to take the lead.

Once in overtime, the Chiefs offense went to work after winning the coin toss and put together a long drive that ultimately sputtered out in the red zone when no one could separate in a shortened field and Butker kicked a short field goal to redeem himself somewhat after missing an extra point and a field goal earlier in the game. That put the Chiefs up 20-17. The offensive ineptitude of the Titans extended into overtime as Willis took two sacks on four plays to close out the Titans’ only possession in OT to seal the win.

After grinding out a tough, come-from-behind win in Week 9, the Chiefs, who are now 6-2, will travel to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 10.