NASHVILLE, Tenn. –** Standing on the arrowhead at Arrowhead …
Every Titans fans remembers Mike Keith’s radio call from last season, when Titans kicker Ryan Succop booted a 53-yard, game-winning field goal for the Titans on the game’s final play in a 19-17 win over the Chiefs.
On Saturday, the Titans and Succop return to Arrowhead Stadium in the AFC Wild Card round.
Succop remembers it well.
“It was probably one of the most special moments of my career,” Succop said this week. “It was an awesome memory, it was a great win for our team, and at the time it kept us in the playoff hunt. We were able to build off that, and we built off that this year and made the playoffs, so pretty cool stuff.
“I think going into Arrowhead, in those conditions, and to win a game in that kind of fashion, that was the ultimate so far. That was pretty good.”
With the Titans trailing 17-16 with five seconds left, Succop lined up to kick the game-winner on December 18, 2016. Just as he approached the ball, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid called a time out. But Succop followed through with the kick, and it fell short.
Moments later, on the second try, Succop’s 53-yard field goal sailed just over the crossbar on the final play of the game, setting off a wild celebration.
“There is one explanation for why that ball went in and it’s because it was the Lord’s will for it to go in,” Succop said after the game. “Glory to God. What a day.”
This week, Succop relived the moment. He said the Titans didn’t even try a kick that far in warmups because of the weather conditions --- it was below zero before the game, and single digits throughout.
Succop’s kick capped off a six-play, 40-yard drive that was engineered by quarterback Marcus Mariota. Trailing 17-16 with 1:07 left, the Titans took over at their own 25-yard line.
Titans coach Mike Mularkey believes the experience from last season could help the team.
“Well I think we know that we can win there. We did,” Mularkey said. “That's a great place to play football. It feels like a playoff atmosphere every time we play there. The crowd, it's always a sellout, it's loud, it's one of the loudest stadiums, it'll be louder. We dealt with the crowd, we had to deal with it earlier, we dealt with the cold, we dealt with a lot of things and came out on top. We have a lot of guys on this team that were there and know we can do that.”
Succop, a nine-year veteran who spent his first five NFL seasons with the Chiefs, will undoubtedly think about that moment when the Titans walk back into Arrowhead Stadium on Saturday.
Several of his teammates have called that their favorite moment with the team in recent years.
“But I am focusing on now,” Succop said. “That kick last year has nothing to do with this game, so I am really just trying to focus on kicking well this game and hopefully helping our team win this week.”
Photo Flashback: Ryan Succop's Game-Winner at KC
Ryan Succop's 53-yard field goal sailed just over the crossbar, giving the Titans a dramatic 19-17 win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016 at Arrowhead Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)