Tennessee Titans linebacker Arden Key revelled in proving the doubters wrong after Will Levis led the team to an incredible 28-27 comeback victory over the Miami Dolphins on Monday.
The Titans were down 27-13 with just two minutes and 59 seconds to play against one of the contenders for the AFC’s top seed and were staring at a fifth defeat in the space of six games.
However, rookie quarterback Levis inspired a remarkable turnaround in the closing stages by directing two touchdown drives, the second capped by running back Derrick Henry diving into the end zone for the go-ahead score.
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A huge fourth-down sack from Harold Landry III on Tua Tagovailoa then killed any hope of a Miami fightback, dealing the Dolphins their fourth loss of the season as the Titans improved to 5-8.
Recalling Miami’s 70-20 rout of the Denver Broncos in Week 3, Key hailed Tennessee for their spirit after going behind, saying: “Earlier in the week we were scheduled to lose by 25 points.
“Nobody thought we were going to win. Everybody thought it would be another Miami versus Broncos-type thing and they’d put up 70 points on us.”
Where there’s a Will, there’s a way. pic.twitter.com/jW8Wbxxakv
— NFL (@NFL) December 12, 2023
The Titans became the first team to overturn a 14-point deficit with under three minutes remaining to win since 2016, with Levis finishing 23-of-38 for 327 passing yards and a score.
“I was just sticking to the gameplan,” Levis said. “Throwing to the open guy, trusting that I didn’t necessarily need to be forcing anything.
“It was that happy medium of pushing it down the field but throwing to the open guy.”
A miserable outing for Miami was compounded as wide receiver and MVP candidate Tyreek Hill suffered an ankle injury in the first quarter, and he stayed out of the game until the third quarter.
After the loss, Hill revealed his return to action was inspired by a message he received from his wife, saying he played through the pain barrier.
“When it happened, my first reaction was like, ‘man, my ankle is gone’,” he said. “My adrenaline kicked in, I ran off the field, then I sat for a while and it got stiff and I was going through a lot of pain.
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) December 12, 2023
“Then I just made up my mind, I came in at halftime, I texted my wife, I was like, ‘this hurt. I need an ankle massage tonight!’
“She’s like, ‘you’d better get back in that game, dawg.’ I was like, ‘alright’. So I just made up my mind that it’s going to hurt. It’s going to suck, tonight and tomorrow morning.
“I just went back in the game on my own, without anybody saying. I’ve got to get out there and bring some energy and be that spark.”