Oct 24, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans linebacker David Long (51) after a defensive stop during the first half against the Kansas City Chiefs at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Derrick Henry’s TD pass sparks Titans’ rout of Chiefs

Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry threw touchdown passes as the Tennessee Titans established early control and coasted to a 27-3 victory against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday afternoon in Nashville, Tenn.

Henry, the NFL’s leading rusher, had his streak of five straight 100-yard rushing performances snapped, gaining 86 yards on 29 carries.

His reduced production did not matter, however, as Tannehill engineered scores on all five first-half possessions as the Titans (5-2) grabbed a 27-0 margin at the break. Tannehill finished with 270 yards on 21-of-27 passing.

A streak of 82 consecutive games with a first-half score ended for the Chiefs (3-4), dating to a 29-0 halftime deficit in 2016 against Pittsburgh.

Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes threw an interception and lost a fumble before being helped off with 8:13 left. He cleared concussion protocol after a brief examination in the medical tent and ended his day with 206 yards on 20-of-35 passing.

Henry completed a 5-yard pass to MyCole Pruitt for a touchdown to cap the first possession as the Titans, who had been prone to slow starts, began in a hurry-up offense.

They followed with a 97-yard scoring march that included two long connections from Tannehill to A.J. Brown, including a 24-yard TD grab.

The AFC South leaders, coming off a short week of practice after beating Buffalo in a Monday night game, did not punt until the fourth quarter.

The Titans forged huge first-half advantages in yardage (277-67), first downs (19-4) and snaps (43-17), while controlling the ball for 23-plus minutes.

The Titans totaled 369 yards, while their stout defense limited the Chiefs to 334. With three giveaways, the Chiefs raised their NFL-worst turnover count to 17, exceeding their total (16) from last season.

Rashaan Evans had an interception and Matthias Farley and Rashaan Evans recovered fumbles for Tennessee.

Brown had 101 yards receiving at halftime and led the Titans, who have won five of six, with eight catches for 133 yards and one touchdown.

–Field Level Media

Oct 10, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) runs the ball against the Buffalo Bills during the game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill (quadriceps) misses practice

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill missed another practice Thursday while All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce was limited.

Hill is battling a quadriceps injury sustained in last week’s win over the Washington Football Team. Kelce is managing a neck injury but expects to play on Sunday when the Chiefs (3-3) visit the Tennessee Titans (4-2) in Nashville, Tenn.

Good news did come in the form of defensive end Chris Jones practicing for the first time since Week 4. He has missed the past two games with a wrist injury.

Hill played just 57 percent of the team’s offensive snaps against Washington. He had nine catches for 76 yards and a touchdown.

The five-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time All-Pro missed practice last week with a knee injury. He has 46 receptions for 592 yards and five touchdowns on the season.

Cornerback Charvarius Ward (quadriceps) practiced again Thursday, albeit limited. He hasn’t played since Week 2.

Left guard Joe Thuney (hand) and linebacker Anthony Hitchens (triceps contusion) missed practice.

However, defensive tackle Jarran Reed (back) and offensive lineman Trey Smith (ankle) were full participants after being limited Wednesday.

–Field Level Media

Oct 18, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) runs for a touchdown during the second half against the Buffalo Bills at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Uneven Chiefs have to contend with Derrick Henry, Titans

One consistent factor behind a surprisingly average start from Kansas City has been the impressive abilities of the quarterbacks who opposed the Chiefs.

A combination of turnovers and shoddy defense from Kansas City (3-3) contributed to the Chiefs being outgunned by the likes of Lamar Jackson, Justin Herbert and Josh Allen.

Whatever hopes the Tennessee Titans (4-2) have of further flattening the two-time reigning AFC champions Sunday at Nashville, Tenn., will probably depend on a different position player.

Derrick Henry, however, is a formidable threat in his own right. He has five consecutive 100-yard rushing performances and has scored three touchdowns in three games this season as the Titans face a short week after an electrifying 34-31 home win Monday over Buffalo.

“He’s a big guy, so you’ve got to take the legs out,” said the Chiefs’ Tershawn Wharton. “That’s how you kill the engine, and all 11 guys have to get to the ball.”

Easier said than done, especially against a massive back like Henry who not only breaks tackles but can outrace defenders in the open field. Henry, who averages 130.5 yards on 27 carries per game, faces a Kansas City defense that ranks 27th against the rush. The Chiefs surrender more yards per play (6.7) than any NFL team.

“I’ve just got to do my job,” said Henry, who has 783 rushing yards. “(Blockers) make my job easy. Those guys just having the will to want to be better each and every play, each and every week, just that mentality.”

Starting faster could be essential against the explosive Chiefs. The Titans average 3.3 points in the first quarter and didn’t get kick-started against Buffalo until Henry busted a 76-yard touchdown early in the second period. The Titans are prone to negative plays, ranking 31st in sacks allowed (20), resulting in 150 yards in losses.

“We’ll have to start the game better,” Titans coach Mike Vrabel said. “That’s what we’re focused on with Kansas City, get a better pocket for the quarterback.”

The Chiefs continued their mistake-prone start to the season with three first-half turnovers last Sunday before blanking Washington in the second half of a 31-13 victory.

“I wouldn’t call it a reset,” Patrick Mahomes said of the comeback. “You still have to build upon it. We’re still a long ways from where we need to go.”

Kansas City leads the NFL in giveaways (14) and Mahomes has eight interceptions working against his 18 touchdown strikes, which leads the NFL. His picks are tied for second.

“You’ve got to go do it,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said of mistakes hounding every unit. “You can’t talk about it anymore; you’ve got to go do.”

Mahomes ranks third in passing yards (1,887). Travis Kelce leads all tight ends with 38 receptions.

Two Chiefs defenders who missed the Washington win, Chris Jones (wrist) and Charvarius Ward (quadriceps), returned to practice during the start of workouts for the Tennessee game.

Jody Fortson tore his Achilles at Washington. Anthony Hitchens (triceps) played just 11 snaps at Washington and did not practice Wednesday along with offensive starters Tyreek Hill (quad) and Joe Thuney (hand).

Vrabel allowed the Titans to conduct light work Wednesday leading into the Chiefs game before resuming full practices Thursday.

Tennessee is dealing with many injuries, including the loss of rookie first-round pick Caleb Farley (knee) and concussion protocol for tackle Taylor Lewan, who was carted off the field in the Buffalo win. Cam Batson is out, while fellow receiver Julio Jones (hamstring) and cornerback Chris Jackson (foot) did not finish Monday’s game.

–Field Level Media

Oct 17, 2021; Landover, Maryland, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Darrel Williams (31) carries the ball as Washington Football Team linebacker Cole Holcomb (55) defends during the first quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs dominate second half to win at Washington

Patrick Mahomes passed for 397 yards and two touchdowns Sunday and the Kansas City Chiefs overcame three turnovers to topple the Washington Football Team 31-13 at Landover, Md.

Mahomes bounced back from two second-quarter interceptions, completing 32 of 47 passes. The Kansas City (3-3) defense, ranked 31st coming in, held Washington (2-4) scoreless in the second half.

All three of the takeaways by Washington came in the second quarter, but the Chiefs rallied from a 13-10 halftime deficit by converting 8 of 10 third downs in the second half and scoring 21 unanswered points.

Tyreek Hill snagged nine receptions and Travis Kelce added eight while providing 76 and 99 yards receiving, respectively, as the Chiefs’ offense rolled to 499 total yards.

Hill caught a 2-yard touchdown dart and Darrel Williams scored on a 3-yard rush to give the Chiefs a 24-13 margin with 14:02 remaining. Making his first NFL start, Williams provided 62 yards on 21 carries subbing for the injured Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

Mahomes capped the second-half flurry by connecting with Demarcus Robinson for a 24-yard touchdown with 3:14 remaining.

Taylor Heinicke completed 24 of 39 passes for 182 yards but Washington gained little offensive rhythm, recording just 76 second-half yards. It committed two turnovers.

J.D. McKissic led Washington with 110 yards from scrimmage, rushing eight times for 45 yards and catching eight passes for 65.

Interceptions by Kendall Fuller and Bobby McCain and a fumble recovery by Kamren Curl enabled Washington to turn over Kansas City three times in the second quarter.

A fumble by Mecole Hardman was converted into a touchdown and a 13-10 Washington lead at halftime. Ricky Seals-Jones slipped behind the Kansas City secondary and caught a 39-yard touchdown pass from Heinicke with 1:18 remaining.

Both of Mahomes’ first-half interceptions came in the red zone after the Chiefs reached the Washington 9 and 20. The first pick came after a drop by Hill and the second after Mahomes threw wildly to avoid a sack.

Kansas City’s only touchdown of the first half came on its first possession, a 10-play, 95-yard march capped by Williams’ 2-yard run.

–Field Level Media

Oct 3, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Washington Football Team wide receiver Terry McLaurin (17) celebrates after a touchdown catch against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

WFT’s Terry McLaurin, Antonio Gibson active vs. Chiefs

Washington Football Team wide receiver Terry McLaurin and running back Antonio Gibson are active for Sunday’s game against the visiting Kansas City Chiefs.

McLaurin’s availability was in question after he sat out Friday’s practice with a hamstring injury. He leads the team in catches (29), receiving yards (400) and receiving touchdowns (three) this season.

Gibson, who was listed as questionable due to a calf injury, has rushed 79 times for 313 yards and three touchdowns for Washington (2-3).

While McLaurin and Gibson are set to play on Sunday, wide receivers Curtis Samuel (ankle) and Cam Sims (hamstring), offensive lineman Brandon Scherff (knee) and Sam Cosmi (ankle), tight end Jace Sternberger and cornerback Corn Elder were ruled as inactive for the contest.

Guard Wes Schweitzer and tackle Cornelius Lucas are expected to draw the start on the right side of the line for Washington.

Defensive end Chris Jones, cornerback Charvarius Ward, tight end Blake Bell and offensive linemen Austin Blythe, Prince Tega Wanogho and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif have been ruled inactive for the Chiefs (2-3).

–Field Level Media

Oct 10, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) reacts to a call against the Buffalo Bills. during the second half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Last-place Chiefs wary of turnover woes at Washington

The Kansas City Chiefs are looking nothing like the top team in the AFC, a distinction they enjoyed winning conference titles each of the last two seasons.

One lethal combination the Chiefs are facing is an offense that committed turnovers on the highest percentage of possessions and a defense allowing scores on the highest percentage of opponents’ possessions.

The result is Kansas City (2-3) occupies last place in the AFC West entering a matchup Sunday against the Washington Football Team (2-3).

“The production is there. It’s the turnovers that we’ve got to take care of,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said.

That much is true about the offense. If Kansas City can execute in the efficient fashion exhibited the previous three seasons behind Patrick Mahomes, it can shred virtually any defense.

“We’re moving the ball down the field at a high rate,” Mahomes said. “Once you have turnovers happen it kind of ruins everything. It takes that great offense and just knocks it down to an average one.”

The Chiefs are tied with Jacksonville for a league-worst 11 giveaways, including Mahomes’ six interceptions. Only the Jaguars have a worse turnover differential than the Chiefs (minus-7).

Sloppy play has raised questions about whether Mahomes and the offense are pressing to score points because the defense allows 7.1 yards per play and 32.6 points per game, marks that rank last in the league.

“Not at all,” Mahomes said. “We try to score every time we touch the football. That’s the precedent before I even started here. That’s my mindset going into every single game … It has nothing to do with what’s happening on the other side of the ball.”

Without elaborating on any of the Chiefs’ weapons, or even their shortcomings, Washington coach Ron Rivera expressed confidence in his team’s competitiveness.

“If we play to our abilities, we have a chance to win,” Rivera said.

Still, Rivera watches game film just like any other coach, and he has noticed as defenses attempt to prevent big plays by forcing the Chiefs to use their run game and force Mahomes to throw underneath coverage.

“You see some of these things that you can take advantage of and that you can use,” Rivera said. “That’s one of the things that happens is (defenses) do catch up. I do know their still explosive. They live and die with plays downfield and we’ve got to keep that in front of us.”

Washington pins its hopes on offensive performers who do not generate the same buzz as the prolific playmakers driving the Chiefs’ offense.

Taylor Heinicke has passed for eight touchdowns, half of Mahomes’ output. Running back Antonio Gibson averages 62.6 yards per game. Wide receiver Terry McLaurin has caught six TDs. Meanwhile, Washington’s defense ranks 27th in yards per game (407.8) and 31st in scoring (31.0 points).

Injuries have riddled the offense in Washington. Offensive tackle Sam Cosmi (ankle), injured in Sunday’s loss to New Orleans, and guard Brandon Scherff (knee) are slowed along the Washington offensive line. Gibson (shin) did not practice Wednesday, while injuries continue to impact the team’s wideouts.

The Chiefs placed running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (knee) on injured reserve and activated Derrick Gore. Joe Thuney (broken hand) and Tyreek Hill (quad) are coping with injuries suffered in last Sunday’s loss to Buffalo, while Chris Jones (wrist) is improving, Reid said. Jones missed last week’s loss to the Bills.

–Field Level Media

Oct 10, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) catches a pass against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill (knee) sits out practice

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill did not participate in practice on Wednesday, three days removed from sustaining a knee injury during a loss to the Buffalo Bills.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid announced Monday that Hill “hurt his knee a little bit” in Sunday night’s 38-20 setback to the Bills in Kansas City.

A five-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time All-Pro, Hill leads the team in catches (37) and receiving yards (516). Hill, 27, is tied with tight end Travis Kelce for the team lead with four touchdown receptions.

Mecole Hardman, who has 22 catches for 199 yards and one touchdown, likely would see additional snaps should Hill miss playing time. The Chiefs (2-3) visit the Washington Football Team (2-3) on Sunday.

Reid also said linebacker Anthony Hitchens (knee), defensive end Chris Jones (wrist) and left guard Joe Thuney (hand) would not practice on Wednesday.

–Field Level Media

Oct 10, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) hands off to running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (25) during the first half against the Buffalo Bills at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs put RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (knee) on IR

The Kansas City Chiefs put running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire on injured reserve Tuesday with a sprained MCL in his knee.

The move was expected for Edwards-Helaire, who likely will be sidelined for a few weeks. He’ll have to miss at least three games by virtue of the move.

Edwards-Helaire exited Sunday night’s 38-20 home loss to the Buffalo Bills in the third quarter after being tackled at the end of an 11-yard reception.

Teammates helped him off the field and he was taken to the locker room, where he was quickly ruled out for the rest of the game.

Edwards-Helaire, 22, finished the game with seven carries for 13 yards and the one reception. In five starts this year, he has rushed for 304 yards and no touchdowns and has eight receptions for 61 yards and two scores.

A first-round pick in 2020 out of LSU, Edwards-Helaire gained 1,100 yards from scrimmage (803 rushing, 297 receiving) and scored five TDs (four rushing, one receiving) in 13 games as a rookie.

Darrel Williams would be in line for more carries on Sunday when the Chiefs (2-3) visit the Washington Football Team (2-3).

–Field Level Media

Oct 10, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Buffalo Bills wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (1) celebrates with quarterback Josh Allen (17) after scoring a touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Bills defense shuts down Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs

Josh Allen passed for 315 yards and added 59 yards rushing Sunday as the Buffalo Bills’ top-ranked defense stuffed Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs 38-20 in soggy Kansas City, Mo.

The victory avenged the Bills’ 38-24 loss to the Chiefs in last year’s AFC championship game and kept Buffalo (4-1) in charge of the AFC East. Kansas City (2-3) lost its second straight at home and fell into last place in the AFC West.

A line of thunderstorms prompted a 62-minute delay at halftime. Rain persisted in the second half.

Allen connected on 15 of 26 passes, averaging 12.1 yards per attempt while engineering the Bills to an 8.1-yard average per snap. Dawson Knox caught three passes for 117 yards with one touchdown, while Emmanuel Sanders had two TD grabs, including an 8-yarder for a 38-20 margin with 5:51 remaining.

Buffalo’s sticky defense provided a TD off a 26-yard interception return by Micah Hyde for a 31-13 third-quarter lead. Greg Rousseau also snagged a pick as the Bills rattled Mahomes, who passed for 272 yards and rushed for 61 but also lost a fumbled snap while going 33 of 54.

Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire left in the third quarter with an apparent knee injury after rushing for 13 yards on seven carries.

The Bills overcame 10 penalties for 103 yards.

Allen carried for a 9-yard touchdown and connected with Sanders and Knox for scores of 35 and 53 yards, respectively, as Buffalo gained early control and led 24-13 at halftime.

The TD bomb to Knox, who slipped wide open behind Chiefs defender Dan Sorensen, came with 1:16 left, two plays after Mahomes and Kansas City failed to convert a fourth down on the Bills’ 32.

The Bills averaged 12 yards per snap in the half, with Allen passing for 219 yards and rushing for 41.

Allen drove the Bills into Kansas City territory on each of their five first-half drives. The 24 first-half plays the Bills executed generated 10 first downs and three touchdowns.

The Chiefs’ only TD of the half came on a 5-yard strike from Mahomes to Byron Pringle five minutes into the second quarter. A 17-play drive to begin the game netted only a field goal by Harrison Butker, who added a 54-yard boot with two seconds left in the first half.

–Field Level Media

Oct 10, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) hands off to running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (25) during the first half against the Buffalo Bills at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire exits game with apparent knee injury

Kansas City Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire left in the third quarter with an apparent knee injury Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.

Edwards-Helaire, a former first-round draft pick out of LSU, suffered the injury on an 11-yard gain, three plays before the Bills’ Micah Hyde scored on a 25-yard interception return to give Buffalo a 31-13 lead.

Edwards-Helaire left with 13 yards on seven carries after logging 100-yard rushing performances in the two previous games.

–Field Level Media