Alex Smith has been part of some embarrassing playoff defeats in Kansas City, including the Chiefs' huge blown lead in Indianapolis several years ago and the nip-and-tuck loss to Pittsburgh last season.
The Kansas City Chiefs are on a roll heading into tomorrow's Wild Card matchup against the Tennessee Titans. One play before former Chiefs kicker Ryan Succop connected from 49 yards, Mariota was sacked by inside linebacker Derrick Johnson, who appeared to force a fumble that was recovered by the Chiefs ... only to have the fumble overturned by Triplette - he ruled the ball dead due to forward progress, even though Mariota never appeared to move forward on the play. Rapoport notes that the Chiefs are not only open to it but that the actual returns on the trade could actually be better than what they traded for Smith in the first place.
After leading the Chiefs to a 21-3 halftime lead over Tennessee, the veteran quarterback watched in horror as everything unraveled. A 35-yard run by Derrick Henry further cut into the Chiefs' lead before Eric Decker's 22-yard catch gave the Titans their first lead. With the score at 21-16, the Titans lined up for two, but they ran a terribly designed play that gained one-yard and would've been nullified by an Illegal Shift penalty regardless.
The Titans drove into Chiefs territory midway through the second quarter but Peters intercepted an underthrown pass from Mariota in the red zone, ending the threat.
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The previous coach Jack Del Rio was sacked after the last game of the season, and Gruden is set to interview with them Monday. Gruden has built a strong reputation as a brash head coach known to get on his quarterbacks quite roughly.
Henry had a career-high 132 rushing yards and a score on 21 carries, essentially icing the game with a 22-yard run after a tremendous block by Mariota to spring him for the first down.
The second-team All-Pro caught a pass over the middle and was going to the ground when Cyprien tried to lay a shoulder into him. For the second year in a row, the Titans held the Chiefs offense to zero points scored in the second half of a game.
With almost six minutes left in the game, the Chiefs still had an opportunity to retake the lead.
With the weight of the Chiefs' past playoff failures now looming large, the Titans again took advantage. Cornerback Marcus Peters burst through the line and ripped the ball from Henry's arms.