It took a game-winning field goal block, but the Tennessee Titans held on to beat the Kansas City Chiefs, 35-32, in a wild Week 10 matchup Sunday in Nashville, Tenn.
>> Subscribe to Sports Spectrum Magazine for more stories where sports and faith connect <<
The Titans trailed for much of the day and it seemed as though the Chiefs would earn a road win in QB Patrick Mahomes’ first game since dislocating his kneecap on October 17. Tennessee snatched the lead with only 23 seconds remaining on a Ryan Tannehill pass to Adam Humphries, but the Chiefs responded. They quickly made it back into field-goal range, but just as kicker Harrison Butker sent his 52-yard attempt into the air, reserve cornerback Joshua Kalu whipped around the edge, got his hand on the ball and sealed a Titans win.
THE @TITANS BLOCK IT TO BEAT THE CHIEFS! #KCvsTEN #Titans pic.twitter.com/QE8FrTwbMB
— NFL (@NFL) November 10, 2019
Numerous players from both teams shined on Sunday, but the biggest play of the day came from one of the most unlikely sources.
Kalu has been back with the Titans for only two games this season after being activated off injured reserve on October 30. He was first placed on IR on September 2 with an undisclosed injury.
He’s in only his second season since signing with the Titans as an undrafted rookie out of Nebraska in 2018. He spent most of last fall on Tennessee’s practice squad but was promoted to the active roster in December. Through one and a half seasons, he’s played in seven games and recorded four tackles. Sunday’s blocked kick catapulted him to Tennessee celebrity.
Kalu could have basked in his newfound fame after the game-saving play. Instead, he directed the praise to God. After being swarmed by his happy Titans teammates, Kalu made his way to the end zone, knelt down and prayed:
Celebrates the game-winning block by praising the Man upstairs 🙏🏽 @BluesKalus pic.twitter.com/yDfSTgVOkk
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) November 10, 2019
Kalu remained thankful to God after he left the field.
“When I go out there, I’m just trying to contribute for this team,” Kalu said in the locker room afterward. “Any big play, any play I can make to help this team win, and it just so happened to be this one…. I’m glad that the Lord enabled me to do it.”
Kalu’s Twitter and Instagram bios say “Give God Glory” and he’s known to cite his faith in posts:
One with God is Majority! I’m just the vessel! pic.twitter.com/PiSofpjesB
— JOSHUA KALU (@BluesKalus) November 10, 2019
Kalu and the Titans are now 5-5 and only half a game out of wild card position. They trail the 6-3 Houston Texans in the AFC South. After their bye next week, the Titans will play division-rival Jacksonville on November 24.
– NEW PODCAST: Alterraun Verner – Former NFL Player
– Ryan Tannehill leads Titans to victory days after father-in-law unexpectedly passed away
– MAGAZINE: Wesley Woodyard is Tennessee’s Captain Chaplain
– Hall of Famer Kevin Mawae describes ‘purposeful living’ during induction speech
– NEW PODCAST: Ryan Succop, Tennessee Titans Kicker