Titans conquer Mahomes and the Chiefs in thriller

Joshua Kalu blocks a 52-yard field goal attempt by Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker on final play, to secure a Tennessee Titan 35-32 victory. (Mark Zaleski / Associated Press)

The Tennessee Titans (5-5) just have the Kansas City Chiefs’ number. It’s as simple as that. Andy Reid is now 1-8 all-time against Tennessee. Of course Reid took personal blame for the loss. Forcing Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs to settle for a bunch of field goals kept the Titans close. It didn’t hurt that Derrick Henry ran for 188 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries, including a 68-yard TD. Henry is always a key factor when beating the Chiefs.

Mahomes looked very healthy, playing for the first time since dislocating his right kneecap in October. The loss spoiled the best passing game this season for Mahomes, as he threw for 446 yards and three touchdowns. His best play came with the pocket collapsing around him, when he made a jump-pass to Mecole Hardman, who then, ran for a 63-yard TD.

What still haunts the Chiefs (6-4)? They can’t seem to make a stop on defense when it counts. The Chiefs sacked Ryan Tannehill four times. They also, forced a fumble but could only turn that into one of Harrison Butker’s four made field goals. However, when the game was on the line, they failed to deliver. After a bad snap by the Chiefs on Butker’s fifth field goal attempt of the day, Tannehill scrambled for 18, hit Anthony Firsker for 20 yards, then, found Adam Humphries for 23 yards, with 23 seconds left, who ran in for the go-ahead TD. Tannehill, then ran in a two-point conversion to take a 35-32 lead at Nissan Stadium. That lead would remain and would be the final score.

“It’s fun to win a game like that,” said Tannehill.

The Chiefs had a final chance. Butker set up for yet another field goal try from 52 yards. Cornerback Joshua Kalu (recently activated off injured reserve) blocked the kick with his left hand. The game was over and the place went bonkers, as the Titans ran onto the field to celebrate.

Tannehill finished the game with 181 yards passing and two touchdowns. He also ran for another 37.

The Titans now have a bye, then they host the Jacksonville Jaguars (4-5) on November 24. The Jaguars have two key division games in a row. They face the Colts this week before visiting Music City. That’ll be a tough task, but they have their leader back into the fold, Nick Foles. The timing of Foles’ return from a broken collarbone is perfect for the Jags as they make a playoff push. Despite their record, their schedule eases up a bit during this final stretch. And with the addition of Mr. November, it just could be the spark for Jacksonville to make a run.

No quarterback in the league has been better in November and beyond during the past four seasons than Foles. However, he is no longer in the NFC East. He is now, in the AFC South. Surely the Titans will have something to say about this come game time. These remaining games are critical for all three teams, as they try and catch Houston atop the division.