The dream ended one step short of the goal for the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.
Despite holding a 10-point lead on two different occasions in the first half, the Titans could not contain the high-powered Kansas City Chiefs offense and lost 35-24 in the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium.
The Chiefs’ victory sends them to their first Super Bowl in 50 years, while the Titans ponder what might have been and head to the off-season.
“I’m proud to say that I coach them and I appreciate their efforts. There were a lot of guys that were battling through (that were) beat up, banged up and I felt like they fought,” Titans coach Mike Vrabel said. “I felt like we got off to the start we wanted in all three phases, but when you play a team like this, like the Chiefs, as explosive as they are, we kind of knew they were going to make a run.”
“They just had a great game plan. Guys were coming off the ball and being physical,” Henry said. “They played a great game on defense and their offense is explosive. We just came up short. All the credit goes to them.”
The loss ended the Titans’ magical run from lightly regarded No. 6 team, needing a win on the regular season’s final week just to get in, to reaching the franchise’s first conference championship game in 17 years.
“It’s tough. I’m kind of in shock a little bit. You don’t prepare yourself for this outcome. Everything in your preparation and in your mind is, ‘We’re gonna win this game.’ You don’t even think about the other side,” said quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who finished the game 21 of 31 for 209 yards and two touchdowns. “When it hits, it hits hard. I love this team. I love these guys. I love the way we competed this year.”