Here are some things that stood out Saturday afternoon
The Kansas City Chiefs fell to the Tennessee Titans by a score of 22-21 Saturday afternoon at Arrowhead Stadium in the Wild Card round of the AFC playoffs.
The Titans scored 19 unanswered points in the second half, which erased a 21-3 first-half deficit and helped them get the comeback victory.
Here are six observations from Saturday:
1. The phrase “forward progress” will forever remind fans of this game
There were multiple situations throughout the game on Saturday that the Chiefs had an opportunity to put the game away, but much of what’s going to be discussed regarding this game were a couple of “forward progress” calls that took some points off the board for the Chiefs.
The first was on a sack by veteran linebacker
Then, later in the game on a two-point conversion attempt by the Titans, quarterback Marcus Mariota was spun around and sacked as he tried to escape the grasp of Chiefs’ safety
But again, the call was that Mariota’s forward progress had been stopped.
2. The Chiefs started out hot
Less than 15 minutes into the game, the Chiefs raced out to a 14-0 lead after two quick scoring drives on their first three attempts.
Chiefs’ rookie running back
The Chiefs’ offensive line did a great job early in the game of giving Smith time in the pocket and survey the field.
The Titans allowed just 22 passes of over 25 yards all season, the fourth-fe arizona cardinals custom jersey west in the league. They allowed two on Kansas City’s scoring drive.
— Matt McMullen (@KCChiefs_Matt) January 6, 2018
After the Chiefs’ third offensive drive, which resulted in Kelce’s touchdown, they were averaging 10.5 yards per play, and had converted two of three third downs and both trips to the red zone.
There’s not a player who has more interceptions since the beginning of the 2015 season than the Chiefs’ Marcus Peters, who added the 21st pick of his career midway through the second quarter.
Peters, who had his eyes in the backfield off the snap, read the play the whole way and came off his man to make the play.
Marcus Peters has 21 interceptions since 2015 (including playoffs), 7 more than the next-closest player@Chiefs pic.twitter.com/DnCEeMxdJh
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) January 6, 2018
In the last 25 years, only Ed Reed (22 INT) had more interceptions than Peters in his first 3 seasons, including playoffs https://t.co/v71sZwlzr7
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) January 6, 2018
4. Derrick Johnson’s hit on Mariota, unreal
Veteran linebacker Derrick Johnson, who is already the Chiefs’ leading tackler and one of the best defensive players in franchise history, had one of the biggest hits of his career on his sack of Mariota that was one of the “forward progress” plays.
What shouldn’t be lost on that play is the hit Johnson put on Mariota, who was basically speared the ground after Johnson came on the delayed blitz.
5. Kelce leaves late game in first half,
Late in the first half with the Chiefs running the two-minute drill, Kelce caught a short pass to the left for a gain of 12 yards but took a big helmet-to-helmet hit a personalized Cardinals football jersey fter he raced up field for a few additional yards. He was taken off the field and later ruled out of the game with a concussion.
Kelce finished with four receptions for 66 yards and a touchdown.
The Chiefs’ offense finished that particular drive strong, with second-year receiver
Robinson had four catches for 56 yards on the drive, including the 14-yard touchdown that came on a hurry-up play with less than 10 seconds remaining in the first half.
With Kelce sidelined in the second half, the Chiefs managed just 61 yards of total offense.
Defensive lineman Chris Jones also left the game in Men’s Nike Customized Arizona Cardinals Elite Alternate Black Jersey Sale the third quarter with a knee injury and he did not return.
6. Titans grab three second-half touchdowns, including one Mariota threw to himself
Midway through the third quarter, the Chiefs’ defense faced a third-and-goal from the six-yard line.
Mariota, who had just been sacked on the previous play as
The play brought the game to 21-10 with 6:44 left in the third quarter.
It was the first time a quarterback has thrown a touchdown to himself since Brad Johnson did that with the Minnesota Vikings in 1997.
The touchdown was also one of the seven third-down conversions for the Titans in the second half, which came on just seven attempts. Outside of a kneel down to finish the game, the Titans’ offense was a perfect 7 of 7 on third down in the second half.
Soon after that Mariota touchdown thrown to himself, the Chiefs had a chance to add to their lead after Titans’ rookie returner Adoree’ Jackson muffed a punt, which gave the Chiefs fantastic field position at the 28-yard line, but the drive ultimately lost three yards and
Then, after Titans’ running back Derrick Henry raced 22 yards for a touchdown on the second play of the fourth quarter, which brought the game to within a possession at 21-16, the Titans were setup for a go-ahead scoring opportunity after Smith’s third-down pass was dropped by tight end
After three third-down conversions extended their drive, Mariota ultimately hit veteran receiver Eric Decker for a 22-yard touchdown on second-and-10 with 6:10 left in the game.
That led to the other “forward progress” call on the two-point attempt, which could have given the Chiefs a lead and the ball late in the game.