Ryan Tannehill: “We were as aware as aware could be” about potential for Chiefs scoring a lot of points

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When the Titans faced the Chiefs in the AFC title game only 21 months ago, Tennessee had a 10-point lead in the first half. It didn’t last.

That memory helped the Titans finish the job against the Chiefs on Sunday, once the home team built leads of 14, 17, and 24 points.

After the game, I asked quarterback Ryan Tannehill how aware the Titans were of Kansas City’s habit of erasing big deficits quickly with an explosion of points.

“We were as aware as aware could be,” Tannehill said. “We realize the firepower that they have and if they get hot they can score quickly. So that was definitely something that we knew was a possibility.”

It helps that the Titans’ offense has Derrick Henry, and the impact that his mere presence can make. But the defense, which gave up 31 points only six days earlier to the Bills, stepped up in a major way, holding the Chiefs to three points.

“I think our defense played their balls off,” Tannehill said. “They flew around, they made plays, they made it hard on them. They’re covering, they’re tackling, getting turnovers. Really everything you talk about a good defense they did that today.”

The Titans, above any team, understand the importance of doing it every single week. Even though they’ve now beaten the two AFC finalists only six days apart, they were blown out in Week One by the Cardinals, and they lost to THE JETS. Somehow. I asked Tannehill how in the hell that happened.

“We didn’t play great football,” Tannehill said. “Either side of the ball or special teams. We let opportunities slip, got down didn’t score in the red zone, gave up big plays defensively, and offensively we didn’t score enough points. It’s a week-by-week basis, and if you don’t go play good football each and every week you’re going to get beat.”

With 10 games left, the Titans at this point are only guaranteed of being no worse than 5-12. More immediately, the next two games won’t be any easier than the last two, with a trip to face the ascending Colts in Indianapolis and, after that, a Sunday Night Football showdown with the Rams in L.A.