Forcing Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs to settle for a bunch of field goals gave the Tennessee Titans a chance to stay close.
Ryan Tannehill and a cornerback only activated off injured reserve a week ago helped make the Chiefs pay for their fifth and sixth attempts.
Tannehill on Sunday threw a 23-yard touchdown to Adam Humphries with 23 seconds left, while Joshua Kalu blocked a last-second field-goal attempt to beat the Chiefs 35-32 and spoil the return of NFL Most Valuable Player Patrick Mahomes.
“It’s fun to win a game like that, battle back in the fourth quarter at home and find a way to win is a ton of fun,” Tannehill said.
The Titans (5-5) only had a chance after a bad snap by the Chiefs on Harrison Butker’s fifth field-goal attempt of the day.
Kansas City coach Andy Reid blamed communication for the snap taking holder Dustin Colquitt by surprise. Colquitt threw the ball away in desperation for an intentional grounding call, setting the Titans up at their own 39.
Tannehill scrambled for 18, hit Anthony Firsker for 20, and then found Humphries, who ran in for the touchdown.
Tannehill also ran for the two-point conversion for a 35-32 lead.
The Chiefs (6-4) had a final chance with Mahomes. He drove them down, setting up Butker for another field-goal attempt from 52 yards.
Kalu blocked the kick with his left hand and the Titans ran onto the field to celebrate.
Kalu wound up at the bottom of a pile.
The block was a blur, but not his decision to jump at the snap.
“As soon as I hit it, it was automatic joy,” said Kalu, activated from injured reserve.
Kansas City coach Andy Reid, now 1-8 all-time against Tennessee, said he wanted to see a replay of the blocked field-goal thinking Kalu was offside, but he took the blame for the loss.
“We were in position to close it and we didn’t get that done,” Reid said. “My responsibility. Then we were too sloppy.”
Derrick Henry ran for 188 yards, including a 68-yard touchdown that put Tennessee up 20-19 with 5 minutes, 58 seconds left in the third.
His one-yard touchdown with 6:26 remaining pulled the Titans within 29-27.
Tannehill finished with 181 yards passing and ran for 37 yards.
The loss spoiled the best passing game this season for Mahomes, as the Chiefs outgained the Titans 530-371.
Mahomes threw for 446 yards and three touchdowns.
“The knee feels fine and I’m glad to get through another game,” Mahomes said.
Mahomes looked very healthy playing for the first time since dislocating his kneecap on Oct. 17.
The Chiefs sacked Tannehill four times and also forced a fumble, but could only turn that into one of Butker’s four field goals.
Tannehill got the Titans going with a 52-yard throw to Kalif Raymond, then hit Anthony Firkser for a nine-yard touchdown.
Then David Long forced a fumble by Damien Williams and linebacker Rashaan Evans picked up the ball, juked away from Mahomes and ran 53 yards for a touchdown and a 13-10 lead.
Elsewhere, the Packers overpowered the Panthers 24-16, the Vikings vanquished the Cowboys 28-24, the Falcons spanked the Saints 26-9, the Browns beat the Bills 19-16 and the Ravens routed the Bengals 49-13.
The Steelers subjugated the Rams 17-12, the Bears bested the Lions 20-13, the Buccaneers edged the Cardinals 30-27, the Jets soared past the Giants 34-27 and the Dolphins defeated the Colts 16-12.
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