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Chiefs AFC Championship Preview

The last time the Chiefs lost was in week 10….against the Titans. The two teams will get a rematch as Derrick Henry and the Titans come to Arrowhead with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line.

Chiefs Offense

The Chiefs offense will be the key to this game. The Titans are a dominant run team but running the ball will not allow them to score enough points. A slow paced run heavy team will not have the capabilities to keep up with a lighting fast offense. Last week, the Chiefs scored five touchdowns in twelve minutes. They’re facing a much better defense this week but it just shows how this offense is lightning in a bottle.

Patrick Mahomes and his receivers must be on the same page early. They cannot afford drops or go into a hole like they did last week. Last time the Chiefs played the Titans, Mahomes and company had a huge day. Tyreek Hill had over 150 yards, Travis Kelce had seven receptions, and Mecole Hardman, Sammy Watkins, Demarcus Robinson all got involved as well. They’re gonna need a similar game plan.

Travis Kelce will be the biggest factor for the receivers. He has to use his big body and speed to create openings and free up everyone else. Mahomes and Kelce have tight knit connection in cold weather games and come Sunday we should see more of that. Tyreek Hill will need to be the spark plug. Getting an early lead is going to be more important than ever so Hill has to create a big play downfield so the offense starts rolling.

Patrick Mahomes just cannot be stopped. There is no answer for him. Last week he threw two touchdowns where he only had two receivers running routes against six defensive backs. Yet, he still won those match-ups. At any given point the Chiefs offense could score a long touchdown thanks to their vertical burners. They can also take short routes and burn the defense with their elite speed. The Titans simply will be over matched. Even so, thirty points may not be enough to win because the defense will have their hands full.

Chiefs Defense

Chris Jones is still dealing with an injury that held him out last week. Even if he plays, the Chiefs run defense is not good. Derrick Henry has been on a historic run of late. He set the record for most rushing yards over an eight game stretch. To put it frankly, Derrick Henry is currently unstoppable, and like the Titans defense against Mahomes, the Chiefs defense does not have the capabilities to stop Henry.

They don’t need to stop Henry, however. They need to stop Ryan Tannehill. The Chiefs are going to get out to an early lead and it will force the Titans to start passing more. Tannehill leads the league in yards per attempt at 9.6. For as good as Derrick Henry is, this team can also pass the ball very effectively. A.J. Brown has a serious argument for offensive rookie of the year. Stopping the Tannehill to Brown connection will be paramount.

Ultimately, even if Henry runs for 200+ yards, it won’t be enough. That is not a sustainable way to score enough points. This game will come down to a shootout. The Chiefs pass defense is top ten. Juan Thornhill will be out but the unit showed they can still hold up during last week. This unit does not have to be spectacular, they just have to get a couple of stops against Ryan Tannehill.

Closing Thoughts

The Titans have been shocking the world. They are beating big team after big team. Their success is not a sustainable model and they won’t have certain factors to help them this week.

Ryan Tannehill has thrown for a combined 160 yards over the last two games. The Titans have scored twelve touchdowns in their last twelve redzone drives. Those stats will eventually give. The most damning thing about the Titans is their average defense. They shut the Ravens down last week but it was very flukey. The Ravens have eight(8!) drives end within the Titans 40 yard line that ended with zero points.

The Chiefs will not stumble like that. The Titans were able to slow the Ravens down like that because the Ravens rely on the run game so if you stifle that then they’re not nearly as explosive. There is no stifling the Chiefs pass game. We have seen that over the last two years.

The Titans absolutely have the capability to win this game. They are the hot pick right now. The Chiefs are going to remind people why they were the hot pick going into the season. They are going to remind people why they are the team to beat in the NFL.

Predictions

  • Chiefs -7.5
  • Over 52.5
  • Chiefs 40-Titans 23

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