Titans start fast, dominate Mahomes, Chiefs 27-3

Sports

Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) scores a touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs in the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Ryan Tannehill threw for 270 yards and a touchdown, and he also ran for a score and the Tennessee Titans routed the Kansas City Chiefs 27-3 Sunday for their fifth win in six games.

This also was the second victory in six days for the Titans (5-2) over teams that played for the AFC championship in January.

They edged Buffalo 34-31 on Monday night and followed that by simply dominating the two-time defending AFC champs as Tennessee jumped out to a 27-0 halftime lead.

The Chiefs (3-4) have lost two of three and dropped to 1-4 in the AFC this season. They also were held to their fewest points since a 38-3 loss to Denver on Dec. 30, 2012.

This was the first time Patrick Mahomes had trailed by 27 at halftime and the third-largest halftime deficit for the Chiefs since 1991. It was the worst since the Chiefs trailed Pittsburgh 29-0 at the half on Oct. 2, 2016, and only the eighth time in franchise history that Kansas City had trailed by 27 or more at the half.

The Titans forced three turnovers — two by Mahomes — that they turned into 10 points. Denico Autry had two of the Titans’ four sacks.

Mahomes was slow to get up after taking a knee to his head on the fourth sack by Autry. He went to the medical tent and didn’t return with Chad Henne replacing him late. He finished with 206 yards passing and 35 yards rushing.

Kansas City won the toss and deferred. The Titans didn’t look back despite three-time Pro Bowl left tackle Taylor Lewan sitting out with a concussion.

The Titans went up-tempo with Tannehill spreading the ball around to 2020 Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Brown and seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Julio Jones. Derrick Henry, the NFL’s rushing leader, finished the drive out of the wildcat, throwing a 5-yard pass to tight end MyCole Pruitt for the 7-0 lead.

Outside linebacker Bud Dupree, Tennessee’s biggest free agent signee, got his first sack this season to end the Chiefs’ opening drive.

Tannehill drove the Titans 97 yards on the ensuing drive, highlighted by a 46-yard throw to Brown initially ruled an incompletion. Titans coach Mike Vrabel won his challenge, and Tannehill finished the drive with a 24-yard TD pass to Brown, who had been dealing with food poisoning all week.

After linebacker Rashaan Evans’ interception, Tannehill ran for a 2-yard TD and a 24-0 lead. Randy Bullock added his second field goal off Mahomes’ fumble for the 27-0 lead.

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