Sports

AFC wild-card preview: How the Titans can beat the Chiefs

AFC wild-card preview: How the Titans can beat the Chiefs

The Titans ran it with Henry, who had nowhere to go inside, bounced it outside, got a lead block from Mariota, of all people, and sprinted 22 yards for the game-clinching first down. The Titans failed on the two-point conversion attempt.

Mariota overcame a first half interception by making plays with his arm and his legs. DeMarco Murray, who led the AFC in rushing yards in 2016, is coming off the worst regular season of his pro career. Instead, the Chiefs ended up losing 22-21 and their postseason home heartache continued. Derrick Johnson scooped it up and ran it in untouched for the apparent score.

The Titans drove into Chiefs territory midway through the second quarter but Peters intercepted an underthrown pass from Mariota in the red zone, ending the threat.

Tennessee's divisional-round opponent depends on the outcome of Sunday's Buffalo Bills-Jacksonville Jaguars game.

What makes Mariota risky, however, is his ability to run the ball.

The whistle again had been blown, and referee Jeff Triplette told a pool reporter Mariota's forward progress had been stopped, allowing the Titans to retain the slimmest of leads.

"I was just in the right place at the right time", Mariota said.

Play-by-play man Sean McDonough congratulated Gruden on his transition back to coaching, and the former Raiders and Buccaneers head coach replied: "Nothing is official yet but these Chiefs fans have been on my case since I got here".

The final frustration came as the Titans were trying to run out the clock.

With the Titans a first down away from victory, it appeared that Derrick Henry was stripped of the football by Marcus Peters. But review of the play showed Henry was down before the ball came loose.

Kansas City converted on third-and-6 early in the drive, when the Titans called timeout in hopes of getting the ball back, then moved effortlessly downfield the rest of the way.

The result was yet another heartbreak for a franchise that has known its share of them.

"I just wanted to have a better performance than I had last week", said Henry, who averaged just 1.8 yards per carry in the season finale.


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