How the Chiefs outlasted the Titans, explained by experts

It was an ugly one, but the Tennessee Titans somehow kept it close. How did the Kansas City Chiefs come out on top in OT? Here’s what the experts say.

The Kansas City Chiefs improved to 6-2 on Sunday night with an overtime win over the Tennessee Titans. The game was defensively-oriented, with 14 punts and just 37 points scored.

The Titans failed to get virtually anything going and the only reason they were in the game until the end was Derrick Henry, who rushed for 115 yards and scored two touchdowns.

It’s remarkable that this went to overtime. The Titans had just 57 receiving yards the entire game. The Chiefs had 20 more first downs than Tennessee. The Titans converted just 1 of its 11 third downs. It makes Henry’s one-man performance (along with the offensive line, we can give them some credit for giving him some run lanes) even more impressive.

So, how did the Chiefs pull out the win? Also, how was it so close since all the stats indicate the Chiefs should have dominated? Here’s what the experts are saying.

Chiefs defensive line was menacing

Rocky Magana had five takeaways from the game at Arrowhead Pride. The defensive line was one of them:

Fast forward eight games, and Saunders, along with fellow defensive tackle Chris Jones and edge rusher Carlos Dunlap, were harassing rookie quarterback Malik Willis in overtime and shutting down Derek Henry in the second half of the football game.

It was the performance we have been waiting to see out of this defensive line. The key to moving forward will be consistency. Was this a one-time thing, or can the Chiefs count on them to consistently generate pressure on opposing quarterbacks moving forward?

Chiefs win despite Harrison Butker woes

Bransen Gibson thinks Harrison Butker will get it back on track after missing another field goal on Sunday night.

But like Mahomes, Butker is without doubt one of the elite players at his position. And again, just like we saw Mahomes do last season, I’m expecting we will see Butker fire back into action in the coming weeks. While we have seen Butker struggle at times, we also saw him drill a 62-yarder against the Bills at Arrowhead in Week 6, the longest field goal in Chiefs history. And let’s not forget, Butker is still ranked second in the history of the NFL when it comes to career field goal percentage (88.824%).

Run game was weak for Chiefs, they won in spite of this

Ed Easton Jr. at Chiefs Wire didn’t like what he saw from the run game, particularly from rookie Isiah Pacheco.

The running game continues to struggle for Kansas City, and the addition of Pacheco in the starting lineup didn’t turn the tide. The rookie running back struggled to gain traction against the Titans’ defense. He finished with only five yards rushing on five attempts, with Mahomes leading the team on the ground.

Patrick Mahomes takes over and counter Titans defense

Tyler Sullivan points out how crucial it was for Patrick Mahomes to simply do it himself when the running backs weren’t:

The Chiefs desperately needed some semblance of a running game and they simply weren’t getting it from their stable of backs as Isiah Pacheco, Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Jerick McKinnon combined for just 14 rushing yards on 12 carries. Because of that inefficiency on the ground, Tennessee was willing to sit back in coverage and bottling things up in the secondary. So, Patrick Mahomes had to take matter into his own hands legs. He not only rushed for a team-high 63 yards, but those gains on the ground were the difference between the Chiefs winning and losing this game.

Kadarius Toney flashes a “jerk route”

The Kansas City Star’s Jesse Newell pointed out how Kadarius Toney got to re-use a skill he developed in college. Underutilized with the Giants before being traded to the Chiefs, he hasn’t had opportunities to show exactly what he can do.

So what happens on a “jerk”? Toney runs upfield a few steps, cuts quickly toward the sideline to sell an out-breaking route, then pivots back toward the middle of the field. The hope is to get isolated on the linebacker and have him commit outside, which often creates a vacancy between the hashes.

Next up, the Chiefs have the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday at 1 ET in KC. The Titans host the Denver Broncos at 1 ET. Despite the loss, Tenneessee remains atop its division.

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