AP photo by Mark Zaleski / Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) scores a touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half of Sunday's game in Nashville.

NASHVILLE — Six weeks into this season, the Tennessee Titans had demonstrated they could finish games well enough to win four of them and be competitive in all but one. The objective for coach Mike Vrabel's team was to show it could start faster.

The Kansas City Chiefs could tell you how that's going for the Titans.

Tennessee scored on its first five possessions in a 27-3 rout of Kansas City on Sunday, with the Chiefs avoiding the shutout only with a third-quarter field goal. Ryan Tannehill threw for 270 yards and a touchdown, and he also ran for a score as the Titans won for the fifth time in six games.

They had scored a total of 20 points in the first quarter this season but were up 14-0 when the second quarter started Sunday.

"We wanted to get going early and score points early," Tannehill said. "So we were able to do that, and hopefully we can keep it going."

The Titans (5-2) also won their second game in six days against teams that played for the AFC championship in January. They edged the Buffalo Bills 34-31 on Monday night and followed that by simply dominating the two-time reigning AFC champs.

"It was a great win for everybody," Vrabel said. "Great job. The guys stepped up."

The Chiefs (3-4) have lost two of their past three games and dropped to 1-4 in the conference this season. They also were held to their fewest points since a 38-3 loss to the Denver Broncos on Dec. 30, 2012.

"They made more plays than what we did, particularly on the first few series there," Kansas City coach Andy Reid said. "I've seen our guys do it and make the plays. We're just not doing it right now."

This was the first time Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes had trailed by 27 at halftime and the third-largest halftime deficit for the franchise since 1991. It was the worst since they trailed the Pittsburgh Steelers 29-0 at the break on Oct. 2, 2016, and only the eighth time in franchise history they trailed by 27 or more at halftime.

The Titans forced three turnovers — two by Mahomes — that they turned into 10 points. Denico Autry had two of the Titans' four sacks, and Mahomes was slow to get up after taking a knee to his head when Autry posted the team's final sack. He went to the medical tent and didn't return, with Chad Henne replacing him late. Mahomes was 20-of-35 passing for 206 yards with an interception, and he was his team's leading rusher with 35 yards on six runs.

Reid said Mahomes cleared the concussion protocol and will play in Kansas City's next game on Nov. 1 against the New York Giants, but he chose not to put his 26-year-old star back in for the Chiefs' final possession. Mahomes said he felt fine.

"You get hit pretty hard, sometimes you just want to lay there," Mahomes said. "Plus it was fourth down. ... It was a disappointing day and disappointing way it ended."

some text
AP photo by Wade Payne / Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown catches a touchdown pass while covered by Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Mike Hughes during Sunday's game in Nashville.

After Kansas City won the pregame coin toss and deferred, the Titans elected to receive and didn't look back despite three-time Pro Bowl left tackle Taylor Lewan sitting out with a concussion.

The Titans went with an up-tempo approach on offense early as Tannehill spread the ball around to 2020 Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Brown and seven-time Pro Bowl selection Julio Jones. Derrick Henry, the NFL's rushing leader, finished the drive out of the wildcat formation, throwing a 5-yard touchdown pass to tight end MyCole Pruitt with less than five minutes of game clock gone.

Henry's pass made him the second NFL player in the Super Bowl era to run for at least 10 touchdowns and also throw one in his team's first seven games of a season. LaDainian Tomlinson was the first in 2005 for the San Diego Chargers.

Henry described his latest touchdown toss as "definitely cool." He also threw one in a playoff win against the Baltimore Ravens in January 2020.

After a sack by Bud Dupree ended the Chiefs' first possession, Tannehill drove the Titans 97 yards on the ensuing series, highlighted by a 46-yard throw to Brown that was initially ruled an incompletion. Vrabel won his challenge, and Tannehill finished the touchdown drive with a 24-yard pass to Brown.

After linebacker Rashaan Evans' interception, Tannehill ran for a 2-yard touchdown as the lead stetched to 24-0 lead in the final minutes of the second quarter, and Randy Bullock added his second field goal off Mahomes' fumble for the 27-0 halftime advantage.

Mahomes has been intercepted in six straight games, the longest stretch of his career. The former NFL and Super Bowl MVP had 11 interceptions combined in 2019 and 2020 but has nine this season. His fumble with 1:46 left in the first half was his second this season, giving him 11 turnovers — his most in a single season even counting the playoffs; he had only nine in 17 games in 2019 and 10 in 18 games in 2020.

The Chiefs now have 17 turnovers — one more than all of last season.

While Henry had a five-game stretch of 100-yard rushing games halted — he had 86 yards on 29 carries — Brown had his first 100-yard receiving game of the season, and he had it wrapped up by halftime after making six catches for 101 yards. He added two more catches in the second half and finished with 133 receiving yards.