Titans eye upset of Chiefs

Sports Digital Extra

Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry runs during the first half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry runs during the first half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN)–The Tennessee Titans are a six point underdog Sunday in Nashville with the high flying Kansas City Chiefs and quarterback Patrick Mahomes in town.
Mahomes is expected to return after missing several weeks with a dislocated knee cap.  The 2018 NFL MVP was off to another prolific start before going down with 2,180 yards, 15 TD’s and only 1 interception.  Titans head coach Mike Vrabel knows his squad has its hands full, “He’s a fantastic player. He does a lot with the football, very quick with the release. He makes a lot of great decisions in the RPO game. He’s very accurate outside the pocket, can create, keep plays alive. I think the longer that he does that, the more opportunity for those guys that can run to get downfield. That’s where the play extension is critical that we try to limit that.”
The Chiefs are not short on weapons either with speedster Tyreek Hill on the outside, former top 10 pick Sammy Watkins and all everything tight end Travis Kelce.  Kelce is viewed by most as the best player at his position in the game and he leads the Chiefs with 49 receptions for 666 yards and 2 touchdowns.   “I think he has great speed.  I think he runs great routs. In my opinion he’s the best tight end in the NFL.” said Titans safety Kevin Byard.   Byard also pointed to Kelce’s length at 6-5 250 pounds as a problem in stopping him in the passing guy.  It will be Byard’s job to slow Kelce down most of the day.
Offensively the Titans have to try to keep up with a team scoring 28 points per game this season.  That won’t be easy for a team that has only scored that many points one time this year and that was in a 43-13 win over Cleveland in the season opener. 

Ryan Tannehill makes his fourth start for the Titans.  In the first three he’s thrown for 980 yards, 6 touchdowns and 4 interceptions.  Tannehill will likely be missing receiver Corey Davis who is doubtful for a hip injury, putting added emphasis on rookie AJ Brown 26 receptions, 428 yards and newcomer Adam Humphries 32 receptions and 318 yards. 

Where the Titans could hurt the Chiefs most though is in the running game where they give up 139.6 yards per game, that’s good for 29th worst in the NFL.  Last week at Carolina the Titans only managed to hand the ball to Derrick Henry 2 times in the first half, that number will have to significantly higher against Kansas City.  Henry has arguably been the Titans best offensive player in 2019 with 644 yards rushing and 6 touchdowns. 

Henry is not buying the notion that the Chiefs will be a walk in the park, “Stats say that, but they look like, it looks different.  They fly around, you know watching them last week against they Vikings they did a great job against Dalvin Cook.  You know, not letting him get going too much, so, you know I think they’re a good run defense.  I know the stats say different, but they fly around and play good football.”
At 4-5 the Titans are in desperate need of a victory to stay in the AFC Playoff chase.  A loss could cripple their already dwindling odds with 9 teams in front of them headed into the weekend.

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