NFL News & Analysis

TEN-KC grades: Titans' O-line shines in win over Chiefs

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 18: Quarterback Marcus Mariota #8 of the Tennessee Titans passes during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on December 18, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)

Tennessee Titans 19, Kansas City Chiefs 17

Here are the highest-graded players and top takeaways from the Titans' Week 15 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Tennessee Titans

Quarterback grade: Marcus Mariota, 69.2

Mariota surges late to lead Titans' comeback victory

Mariota completed 19 of his 33 pass attempts for 241 yards with one interception and a dropped pass. He was three of nine on passes under pressure for 46 yards. The Titans QB was two of four on passing attempts using play-action for 59 yards, and completed one of his five attempts of 20 yards or more downfield. Mariota made the big throws and clutch plays on the Titans' last two offensive possessions to help lead Tennessee to a win in Arrowhead Stadium.

Marcus Mariota v. pressure

Top offensive grades:

T Jack Conklin, 85.9

FB Jalston Fowler, 84.2

C Ben Jones, 80.9

T Taylor Lewan, 77.9

TE Delanie Walker, 77.8

Titans' offense saves best for last

After struggling for most the game, the Titans' offense performed well in the fourth quarter to deliver a comeback win. Rookie right tackle Jack Conklin yielded only two hurries on 34 passing snaps and performed well in run blocking, while FB Jalston Fowler was an integral part of the Titans' offensive game plan, lead-blocking on power- and zone-scheme running plays. Ben Jones was solid when pass protecting in the middle, yielding no pressures. RB DeMarco Murray flashed good vision at times in the run game, and also hauled in five receptions for 52 yards, including a critical wheel route reception on fourth down late in the game to give the Titans life.

Top defensive grades:

CB LeShaun Sims, 86.3

CB Brice McCain, 80.5

LB Wesley Woodyard, 79.1

DT Karl Klug, 76.9

S Daimion Stafford, 75.4

Titans' defense rises to occasion in second half

The Titans' defense struggled to control the Chiefs' outside-zone-blocking scheme and balanced offense at times, but in the second half, Tennessee forced stops and gave its offense a chance. CB LeShaun Sims had a big day in pass coverage, yielding one reception on five targets for 4 yards; he also hauled in an interception. LB Wesley Woodyard had a big day in run defense, with five tackles and four stops. For the Titans' defense, it was a group effort to force those timely stops late.

Kansas City Chiefs

Quarterback grade: Alex Smith, 50.7

Alex Smith has tough day against Titans' defense

Alex Smith completed 15 of his 28 pass attempts for 163 yards with a dropped pass and an interception. Smith was zero for three on passes under pressure, and was two for four on passes using play-action, for 8 yards. Early in the game, Smith moved the Chiefs' offense well, and used an effective ground game to gain control. An untimely interception in the fourth quarter hurt Kansas City's chances to put the game away.

Alex Smith vs pressure

Top offensive grades:

HB Spencer Ware, 83

G Zach Fulton, 80.7

WR Jeremy Maclin, 77.6

T Mitchell Schwartz, 76.9

T Eric Fisher, 75.7

Chiefs' offense starts hot, then cools down

The Chiefs roared to a 14-0 lead and seemed largely in control most of the game, thanks in large part to solid offensive-line play. Spencer Ware and the Chiefs' O-line worked well in tandem, executing the stretch-zone running scheme. Guard Zach Fulton and tackles Mitchell Schwartz and Eric Fisher worked to create space for the Chiefs' ball carriers. WR Jeremy Maclin hauled in six receptions on six targets for 82 yards. In the end, however, the Kansas City offense could not put the game away in the fourth quarter.

Top defensive grades:

CB Terrance Mitchell, 91.0

S Eric Berry, 85.1

S Ron Parker, 81.7

CB Steven Nelson, 80.2

DI Chris Jones, 80.2

Chiefs' defense plays well most the game

The Chiefs defense had moments of excellence in the game, and their secondary made some big plays early. Safety Ron Parker hauled in an interception and Eric Berry made a touchdown-saving strip-fumble-tackle in the first half. Terrance Mitchell yielded only one reception on seven targets for 4 yards as he provided superb play in pass coverage. The Chiefs' defense, however, failed to get the Titans' offense off the field late in the fourth quarter, and the Tennessee offense was able to score points when needed to win.

PFF Game-Ball Winner: Jack Conklin, RT, Titans

PFF’s player grading process includes multiple reviews, which may change the grade initially published in order to increase its accuracy. Learn more about how we grade and access grades for every player through each week of the NFL season by subscribing to Player Grades.


Unlock the 2023 Fantasy Draft Kit, with League Sync, Live Draft Assistant, PFF Grades & Data Platform that powers all 32 Pro Teams

$31 Draft Kit Fee + $8.99/mo
$89.88/yr + FREE Draft Kit