KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Marcus Mariota did everything to help the Titans advance in the playoffs, throwing a crazy touchdown pass to himself, running for crucial first downs and providing the kind of spark that Tennessee needed to rally from an 18-point halftime hole. He even threw a crucial block on the run that clinched the game.
It all added up to a heart-stopping 22-21 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday, the first postseason win for the Titans in 14 years and one that will provide some relief — for the week, at least — for embattled coach Mike Mularkey and his underdog squad.
Mariota had 205 yards passing and two touchdowns, including the go-ahead 22-yard strike to Eric Decker with six minutes left. The Titans will find out Sunday whether they’re headed to New England or Pittsburgh next.
Derrick Henry added a career-high 156 yards rushing and another score for Tennessee (10-7), while a defense fileted by Alex Smith and the Chiefs (10-7) in the first half pitched a shutout in the second half — dooming the Kansas City franchise to another humiliating postseason defeat.
Smith threw for 264 yards and two touchdowns for the Chiefs, who haven’t won a home playoff game since January 1994.
FALCONS 26, RAMS 13
LOS ANGELES — Matt Ryan passed for 218 yards and hit Julio Jones for an 8-yard touchdown with 5:48 to play, and the defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons advanced from the wild-card round with a methodical victory over the Los Angeles Rams.
Devonta Freeman rushed for an early score and Matt Bryant kicked four field goals for the Falcons (11-6), who spoiled the Rams’ first playoff game in 13 years while showing off the postseason poise they earned from last season’s journey to the Super Bowl.
Atlanta never trailed at the Coliseum while winning playoff games in consecutive seasons for the first time in franchise history, jumping to an early 13-0 lead while capitalizing on two early mistakes by Pharoh Cooper, the Rams’ Pro Bowl kick returner.
The Falcons’ defense did more than enough to slow down the NFL’s highest-scoring offense, harassing Jared Goff into a 24-for-45 performance in his playoff debut. Robert Woods caught nine passes for 142 yards for the NFC West champion Rams (11-6), but rookie Cooper Kupp scored the Rams’ only touchdown late in the first half. Atlanta held MVP candidate Todd Gurley to 101 yards rushing — just 43 in the first three quarters — and four receptions for a mere 10 yards.