NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Tennessee Titans (4-2) look to extend their win streak to three games Sunday when they host the defending AFC Champion Kansas City Chiefs (3-3).
While the Chiefs have become an AFC powerhouse they have struggled with the Titans with Tennesee winning four out of five in the series.
Both teams come in with offenses that can put points on the board. The Titans average 27.7 points per game, and the Chiefs 30.8 per game ranking 8th and 5th in the league respectively.
For Kansas City, it starts with quarterback Patrick Mahomes who is having another big year with 1,887 yards passing and 18 touchdowns. However, Mahomes is turning it more this season as he has already thrown eight interceptions.
Titans head coach Mike Vrabel is leery of more than Mahomes arm, “We have played him a few times and whether he drifts away from pressure or seems to know where it’s coming from, he has the ability to put it in spaces out in front of guys in man coverage. It really turned the game around last year with a long scramble right before the half. It will be important not only to defend him when he throws it but when he runs it as well,” said Vrabel.
If Mahomes has the time, the Chiefs can boast a ton of speed on the outside and probably access the best tight end on the inside, Travis Kelce. Kelce already has 38 receptions for 468 yards, and if the Titans go zone to limit with the Chief’s speed the star tight end will be targeted heavily in the middle of the field.
The Titans have lost cornerbacks Kristian Fulton and Caleb Farley to injured reserve making it very difficult to go man to man with Chiefs star Tyreek Hill. The last time Hill visited the Nissan Stadium he was targeted a whopping 19 times and caught 11 passes for over 150 yards and made two touchdowns.
“Just a lot of speed,” said Vrabel, “They revolve around speed and there is a lot of precision to what they do. There are a lot of plays that repeat, something Andy [Reid] isn’t afraid of doing is repeating plays. Their efficiency with them is outstanding, and the players know what to do and they’re executing,” said Vrabel.
The Titans need another strong performance from linebacker Harold Landry and the pass rush. Landry leads the teams with 6.5 sacks and has posted back-to-back two-sack games.
The longer the Titan’s backup cornerbacks have to cover, the stronger the likelihood that Tyreek Hill will break a big one.
Last week, the Titans came up with two Red Zone stops and kept the Buffalo Bills lead to only 6-0. Holding the Chiefs to field goals and keeping them in striking distance will be the key for a team that has been the best in the league at winning close games since 2019.
Most victories by 3 points or less (2019-21):
- Tennessee Titans (8)
- Kansas City Chiefs (6)
- New Orelans Saints (6)
- Seattle Seahawks (6)
- Houston Texans (6)
Of course, Derrick Henry who captured America’s attention Monday night with a three-touchdown performance could be the X-factor of this game.
Henry averages 130 yards rushing while the Chiefs are giving up 133. Kansas City is getting massive defensive linemen Chris Jones back, so it could be a little tougher sledding Henry than it appears on the stat sheet.
If Henry can control plays and wear out the Chiefs defense their offense could be very tough to stop in the 4th quarter just like it was against the Bills last week.