The grades are in and they’re not kind to the Chiefs, who lost 35-32 to the Tennessee Titans Sunday.
The Chiefs blew a nine-point fourth quarter lead.
KC Star of the Game
Who else? That jump pass to Mecole Hardman alone might have given it to Patrick Mahomes. But in his first game back from a dislocated kneecap after missing 2 1/2 weeks, Mahomes was terrific nearly wire to wire.
Reason to hope: Mahomes.
Reason to mope: Where to begin? The Chiefs held a nine-point lead in the fourth quarter. They were lining up for a field goal attempt with 1:21 remaining and a five-point lead. But a blunder on the snap led to a short-field go-ahead touchdown by the Titans. In the playoff picture, the Chiefs (6-4) and Raiders (5-4) are tied in the loss column.
Next: The Chiefs and a Los Angeles NFL team try it again in Mexico City. Remember, this game was supposed to be played at Azteca Stadium in 2018 but poor field conditions forced that Chiefs-Rams contest to be relocated to the L.A. Coliseum. This one is on Monday Night Football Nov. 18 at 7:20 p.m.
Passing offense: A
This area of the Chiefs’ performance gets the highest grade of the day even with a few KC hiccups. Receiver Sammy Watkins should have had a couple more receptions. Tyreek Hill also had two drops. And Mahomes’ first pass of the game was nearly intercepted.
But what an amazing afternoon. Mahomes delivered the third 400-yard game of his career, completing 36 of 50 passes for 446 with three touchdowns, no interceptions and a 119.2 passer rating. He was sacked twice.
Rushing offense: C
Damien Williams’ fumble returned for a touchdown in the first half was a crusher. The Chiefs owned a 40-16 advantage in total plays at halftime, but the game was tied because of his turnover. LeSean McCoy was inactive but healthy, and he’s the one who’d had fumble problems this season.
Passing defense: C
The Chiefs did a solid job here until the end. There was a coverage bust on a 52-yard Ryan Tannehill completion. But Chris Jones came up with a pair of sacks, including one that was ruled a fumble and recovered by Tanoh Kpassagnon. Emmanuel Ogbah also recorded a sack.
The Chiefs’ fourth sack was their biggest. Jones applied heavy pressure and Frank Clark got to Tannehill to force a fourth and long. But the Chiefs couldn’t take advantage. Trying to protect a late five-point lead, they couldn’t prevent a go-ahead Tannehill touchdown pass with 23 seconds remaining.
Rushing defense: F
Derrick Henry tormented the Chiefs in the Kansas City-Tennessee playoff game two years ago at Arrowhead and he did it again Sunday. His 68-yard touchdown run was the longest surrendered by the Chiefs this season and gave the Titans a 20-19 lead in the third quarter. Henry finished with 188 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
Special teams: F
Harrison Butker booted four field goals but missed his second extra point of the season. For some reason, Hardman fielded a punt with a fair catch at the 3.
But what a huge mistake at the end. Holder Dustin Colquitt wasn’t ready for James Winchester’s snap. A surprised Colquitt flung the ball and was flagged for intentional grounding. The field-goal unit got another shot with three seconds remaining in hopes of securing a tie and overtime. But Butker’s kick, a 52-yard attempt, was blocked
First-half penalties cost the Chiefs points. A fumble was returned for a Titans touchdown. Two late field-goal attempts were botched.
Mahomes sure tried to win it, but he couldn’t overcome all of this team’s mistakes in Nashville.