As multiple Kansas City defenders ran at him near the line of scrimmage, Mariota saw an open man in the end zone and threw the ball. It was nearly a disaster, as a Chiefs defender got his hands on the pass and batted it up in the air.
Chiefs All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce left the game late in the first half after a hit by Titans' Johnathan Cyprien. Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters intercepted Mariota to snuff out a second-quarter trip to the red zone, and Tennessee managed only a field goal before halftime.
Kelce didn't return to the game and the Chiefs struggled offensively in the second half.
Marcus Mariota completed a 22-yard touchdown pass to Eric Decker to give the Titans a 22-21 lead with 6:08 remaining, after Derrick Henry scored on a 35-yard run to cut the deficit to 21-16 with 14:08 to play. But the officials ruled the play was over, it could not be reviewed and the Titans had time for a field goal that wound up being crucial in a game where every point mattered.
Alas, postseason redemption never seems to happen for Chiefs fans.
Gruden is providing the color analysis for ESPN's broadcast of the Chiefs-Titans playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium. Frank Zombo picked it up and began running the other way for what would have been two points, giving the Chiefs the lead back with just over six minutes left in the game. I don't want to get fined.
Several ticket brokers listed seats Saturday for less than $30 apiece, including the fees. The Titans were getting ready to play their first playoff game since 2008, and the news was surely a bit of a distraction for Mularkey and for the team.
The fourth-seeded Chiefs won four straight games to cap the regular season and capture their second straight AFC West title.
The nightcap features the Falcons visiting the Rams at Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles.
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