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Chiefs third-string QB Aaron Murray has strong second half against Titans

Chiefs third-string quarterback Aaron Murray completed 15 of 20 passes for 146 yards, two touchdowns and an interception Friday against the Titans.
Chiefs third-string quarterback Aaron Murray completed 15 of 20 passes for 146 yards, two touchdowns and an interception Friday against the Titans. DEULITT@KCSTAR.COM

The second half, while playing with the reserves, worked out better for Chiefs quarterback Aaron Murray than the first half when he played with the starters.

Murray tossed two touchdown passes and helped the Chiefs keep their distance from the Tennessee Titans in a 34-10 victory at Arrowhead Stadium.

“Man, that was fun,” Murray said. “But still a lot to work on.”

The first scoring throw was a beauty. From the Titans’ 29, Murray rolled right and fired a perfect strike to streaking Fred Williams in stride.

The touchdown capped a 10-play, 98-yard drive in which Murray completed four of six passes. The first big throw came with the Chiefs backed up and facing a third-and-8 at the 4. He found Frankie Hammond for 13 yards and a first down.

“Great route by Frankie there,” Murray said. “If we don’t convert that it’s a tough punt. It got some momentum going for us.”

The Murray-Williams connection delivered moments later.

After linebacker Frank Zombo came up with an interception deep in Titans’ territory, Murray again connected with Williams, this time from 4 yards near the front pylon.

For the night, Murray completed 15 of 20 passes for 146 yards. He didn’t get a chance to add to his stats. The game was called with 3:50 remaining due to storms.

Murray replaced starter Alex Smith — second-team quarterback Chase Daniel didn’t play — after Smith had led the Chiefs on three scoring drives in three possessions.

The idea going into the game was to give the starters the first half and let them continue into the third. But Murray got his shot with the first-team offense.

“Alex had played such a great game, I think they were happy,” Murray said. “He had done his job.”

In came Murray, and it didn’t go well at first.

Murray misfired on his first attempt and threw a 13-yard strike to Chris Conley on his second.

But on the next snap, Murray scrambled out of the pocket, and appeared to guide Jeremy Maclin.

Murray’s throw wasn’t close. It wound up in the arms of Titans cornerback Parrish Cox.

Tennessee moved in for a touchdown, cutting the Chiefs’ lead at halftime to 17-10.

“I was way too juiced up,” Murray said. “It was a poor decision on my part. I should have run it or thrown it out of bounds. You have to have a short memory.”

Murray had no problem shaking off the mistake. In the second half, the second-year pro completed 14 of 17 in his most extensive playing time since his senior year at Georgia.

“A good night, I just have to keep building on it, keep working,” Murray said.

To reach Blair Kerkhoff, call 816-234-4730 or send email to bkerkhoff@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @BlairKerkhoff.

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