It wasn’t a perfect performance, but the Kansas City Chiefs record still was when the dust settled in Nashville Sunday afternoon. Andy Reid’s team had enough to hold off the Tennessee Titans 26-17 and move to 5-0.
The ball bounced the Chiefs way at the end of their first drive, which ended in a touchdown. But the Kansas City offense wasn’t on the field when those points went on the board. A Dustin Colquitt punt bounced off a Titans player’s foot and was recovered by CB Marcus Cooper in the end zone.
Kansas City built that lead up to 10-0 when the Titans had a chance to score from the Chiefs one-yard line. After former Chiefs running back Jackie Battle was stuffed, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick threw an incomplete pass and then caught a batted ball on third down and was tackled for what was credited as a sack.
Instead of taking three points before half, Tennessee decided to go for it and Battle was once again stopped short.
The Chiefs answered with a 13-play drive that ended with a Ryan Succop field goal to make it 13-0 at half.
Fitzpatrick and the Titans offense got into a groove in the second half, scoring 17 unanswered points to take a four point lead at the beginning of the fourth quarter. As we have seen so far this season, that’s when running back Jamaal Charles is at his best and this game was no different.
The Chiefs had the ball, down four, with just over 11 minutes to play. They put together a 10-play, 64 yard touchdown drive to re-take the lead. Following a Fitzpatrick interception on the Titans next play, Succop Kansas City up six with a 33-yard field goal with just over four minutes remaining.
That formula worked so well, the Chiefs put into motion again! This time it was Quintin Demps picking off the Titans signal caller and Succop closed the door on a 48-yarder.
Now the Chiefs will bring their perfect record home for three straight games. But before we look forward to Sunday’s matchup with the Oakland Raiders, here’s a look at the best players on offense, defense and special teams.
Offense: Jamaal Charles
The running back continues to be the do-it-all weapon for Reid and Alex Smith. Charles carried the ball 22 times for 108 yards, including a one-yard fourth quarter score. He continued to be the teams leading receiver with five catches for 37 yards.
Charles wrapped up his first 100-yard game of the season with 50 yards on 11 carries in the fourth quarter. Not bad for a guy still playing with blisters on his foot and not long removed from a quad injury.
How much did the Chiefs lean on Charles against the Titans? His backup, Knile Davis, only had one carry for two yards and it came only after Charles asked out of the game for a rest. While Davis didn’t have a catch, fullback Anthony Sherman hauled in two passes compared to the team-high five for Charles.
To keep him fresh for the season, it would be a huge boost if the Chiefs can find a way to get Davis to a point where he’s trusted by Reid to hold onto the ball. Until then, expect to see Charles to get over 25 touches and return to this spot week after week.
Defense: Dontari Poe
Every week I expect to see the young defensive tackle show signs of regression. After all, he can’t quite possibly play at such a high level, for so long at such a young age… or can he?
Against the Titans he looked better than ever. Poe had seven tackles and a sack while serving as the driving force behind the Chiefs goal line stand late in the first half.
If Poe stays healthy, I don’t see how teams can possibly find a way to block him without leaving the door open for Justin Houston or Tamba Hali.
Special Teams: Ryan Succop
The way Dustin Coqluitt was playing the first four games of the season, it looked like Succop may never get here. But as the Chiefs punter struggled (a nine yard punt?!) against the Titans, Succop turned in a nearly perfect game.
Succop finished with four field goals, including two in the final 4:10, helping to keep the Chiefs perfect.
He also limited the Titans to just two returns against five touchbacks.