The Kansas City Chiefs have completed the greatest NFL postseason collapse since . . . well, since the last NFL postseason game.
Leading 21-3 at halftime at home against a seemingly overmatched Titans team, the Chiefs could do absolutely nothing in the second half and found a way to lose, 22-21. It was a terrible collapse that will leave a bad taste in the mouths of everyone in Kansas City all offseason, leading to all kinds of questions about where the Chiefs go from here, including questions about whether it’s time to let Alex Smith go and turn to Patrick Mahomes.
It was also a collapse that saw the Chiefs’ hearts broken when an apparent game-winning defensive touchdown by linebacker Derrick Johnson in the final minutes was overturned when a replay review correctly showed that Titans running back Derrick Henry was down. (How referee Jeff Triplette, who had a rough game, didn’t see he was down in the first place is hard to understand.)
But questions about the Chiefs and about the officiating are, for now, secondary. Primary is that the Tennessee Titans just completed one of the great playoff comebacks in NFL history. Marcus Mariota threw one touchdown pass to himself off a deflection and another to Eric Decker in the end zone, and Henry had a huge second half running the ball. The Titans, who looked like they were about to be left for dead in the first half, looked sensational in the second half.
Now Tennessee will advance to play either the Patriots or Steelers, depending on the result of tomorrow’s Bills-Jaguars game. The Titans will be heavy underdogs against either opponent, but if they can keep playing the way they did in the second half, they’ll be a tough team to beat.
The first of this postseason’s 11 games was a great one. We can only hope to see a few more like it in the next few weeks.