The cardiac kids strike again…
For the third straight game the Tennessee Titans have pulled out a win in the closing seconds, with each method of victory more improbable than the last.
Three weeks ago at Soldier Field the Titans held on for dear life with a game-sealing goal line stand on Chicago’s final drive. Tennessee defeated the Bears 27-21 after a couple of fortuitous drops in the end zone by Chicago receivers.
Last week the Titans knocked off the defending champion Denver Broncos 13-10 in the type of slug fest usually reserved for the playoffs.
After squandering a 10 point lead, Tennessee’s defense once again stepped up on their final drive. Linebacker Avery Williamson and safety Rashad Johnson combined to force a fumble on Denver receiver A.J. Derby, sealing the win and sending the home crowd at Nissan Stadium into a frenzy.
So what would the cardiac kids do for an encore this week?
Well…for starters the Titans spotted the Chiefs 14 points with a couple of first half turnovers. They squandered all three of their second half timeouts thanks to a couple of unsuccessful challenges.
After pulling to within a point (with no timeouts) late in the game, the Titans opted to go for two and failed. And even with that Tennessee elected to kick the ball deep to try to force a three and out.
The defense got the three and out, giving Marcus Mariota and the offense just over a minute to execute a game-winning drive.
What happened next sent every Titans fan to the defibrillator.
Mariota drove the Titans into field goal range where kicker Ryan Succop’s 53 yard game winning field goal fell short, but Chiefs head coach Andy Reid nullified the play by calling a timeout.
Succop’s second attempt went through the uprights, capping off one of the most improbable and memorable comeback victories in franchise history.
Aside from the late game dramatics, the Titans have shown playoff grit in each of their last two games following their week 13 bye. Two games they desperately needed to win in order to stay in control of their post season destiny.
The old saying goes…”Offense sells tickets…but defense wins championships”.
Tennessee’s offesnse has been the headliner all year but their defense has played at a championship level the past two weeks against their toughest foes of the season.
Back to back goal line stands the last two weeks, timely sacks and turnovers, and a bend but don’t break mentality that kept the team in it while the offense struggled against Denver and Kansas City…two playoff caliber defenses.
As a result, the Titans have their first three game win streak in several years. And if that streak can extend to five, then Tennessee will be your 2016 AFC South division champions.