Thursday, 18 January, 2018

Marcus Mariota's Touchdown for the Ages Helps the Titans Past the Chiefs

Tennessee Titans Football News, Schedule, Roster, Stats - SB Nation Kansas City Chiefs Football News, Schedule, Roster, Stats - SB Nation
Elias Hubbard | 07 January, 2018, 06:52

Smith was 19-of-23 for 231 yards in the half; Mariota was 7-of-13 for 81 yards and a pick.

Marcus Mariota led the Titans to three second-half touchdowns, incredibly throwing a 6-yard TD pass to himself, and Tennessee rallied from a 21-3 deficit to beat the Chiefs 22-21 Saturday for their first playoff win in 14 years.

Midway through the fourth quarter, after the Titans took their first lead of the game, they attempted a two-point conversion.

Kareem Hunt, the league's top rusher this season, plunged in from 1 yard for a 7-0 lead.

That's exactly what the Kansas City Chiefs did on Saturday to the Tennessee Titans and sent everyone at Arrowhead Stadium into a frenzy. Mariota rolled out on the play, tried to fit in a dart to WR Corey Davis, but his pass was knocked down, and as Mariota was falling off balance to his left, he located the ball, caught the deflection and dove into the near left corner of the end zone for a touchdown.

It was his second career touchdown catch. It was the first time a player has thrown a TD pass to himself in the playoffs, and the first time in any game since the Vikings' Brad Johnson during the 1997 season.

The Titans, with the turnover-prone Marcus Mariota, are the ones with the bigger worries at the game's most important position.

The Chiefs, not content to take a 14-3 lead into the break, proceeded to run an efficient two-minute offense.

With the Titans a first down away from victory, it appeared that Derrick Henry was stripped of the football by Marcus Peters. The drive stalling gave the Chiefs the ball back with a little under two minutes left.

The only time in the 11 games that the Chiefs had a clear advantage at quarterback going in, they won. They could only muster negative-two yards on three plays, and their long field goal attempt was shanked off the left upright by Harrison Butker.

The officials missed an apparent fumble by each team in the second quarter. Mariota was ruled down by forward progress, which had been stopped (though he wasn't moving forward prior to the contact), on a quick whistle. But Kelce had to sit out the second half after sustaining a concussion in the second quarter, and the Chiefs never recovered. The play could not be reviewed and Tennessee kicked a field goal.

Kelce didn't return to the game and the Chiefs struggled offensively in the second half. Luck threw for 443 yards and four touchdowns and the Chiefs lost, 45-44.

The officials gave the ball back to the Titans and this time they ran out the clock. Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson scooped a loose ball and returned it for what seemed like the go-ahead touchdown with less than two minutes to play. But a replay clearly showed Henry down, the call was overturned and Tennessee succeeded in running out the clock.

Henry started for the second consecutive game in place of DeMarco Murray, who is sidelined by a knee injury. On the first carry of the drive, Henry rushed around the left end for 12 yards and a first down.

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