Saturday afternoon will feature the first of two AFC Wild Card Playoff Matchups. The 5 seed, Tennessee Titans will travel to Kansas City, to take on the 4 seed, Chiefs. The Chiefs haven’t won a home playoff game in their last 5 attempts. Tennessee has not qualified for postseason play since 2008. Looks to me like this one has all the makings of a shitty Wild Card match-up.
The Titans are back in post season play for the first time since 2008. That was a 13-10 loss at the expense of the Baltimore Ravens. This season has been a bit of a roller coaster for them. At times, Marcus Mariota looks flawless, and the Titans look like a real contender. Other times, they look mediocre at best. They finished the year with a 9-7 record. The problem with the Titans is I don’t feel like they had any real signature wins this season. Their best wins on paper were at home against Seattle in week 3, and at Houston in week 4. Nothing to write home about. The Titans Defense will have it’s handsfull with the Chiefs Offense. They rank 17th in the NFL in points allowed (356), and 13th in yards allowed. They have played a weak schedule as well.
Marcus Mariota was poised to take the proverbial “Next Step” in 2017, but has fallen short.
WOOF. Brutal season from the ex Oregon Duck. Obviously, it’s the turnovers that present the largest concern. Generally in the postseason, whoever wins the turnover battle, wins the game. Mariota is going to have to make plays with his legs, along with his arm. He is known for his ability to extend plays with his feet. He did rush for 312 yards, and 5 rushing touchdowns on the year. Personally, he sucks. Look for him to look like shit.
Kansas City Chiefs:
Much like their opponent, the Chiefs have had an up-and-down 2017. They started out looking the immediate Super Bowl Contenders beating the New England Patriots 42-27 on opening night. Four more wins came at the expense of the Eagles, Chargers, Redskins, and Texans. They were off to a 5-0 start, and we go a boat load of the “Kansas City Chiefs are Super Bowl Contenders” talk.
They would go on to lose 6 of their next 7 games. The losses came at the hands of the Steelers, Raiders, Cowboys, Giants, Jets, and Bills. They certainly showed their true colors. They did finish the season with four wins in a row over the Raiders, Chargers, Broncos, and Dolphins. All crap bag teams.
Chiefs Quarterback, Alex Smith seems to be on borrowed time with Patrick Mahomes breathing down his neck.
Still a solid year for Smith. He doesn’t turn the ball over whatsoever. This trait is vital, in the playoffs. Ultimately, Smith’s ball protection will likely be the key too the game. If Tennessee can force some turnovers, then they may be able to sneak out a win.
Smith will be looking to chuck the rock to Tyreek Hill, his speedy deep threat. Hill has 1,183 yards, 7 touchdowns in 2017.
Kansas City has the league’s leading rusher at their disposal, in Kareem Hunt. Hunt finished 2017 with 1,327 rushing yards, and 8 touchdowns. Look for Hunt to make an impact running the ball, catching it in the passing game, and make an impact on special teams.
The Chiefs defense ranks 15th in the league in points allowed, and 28th in yards allowed. Not quite the stout Kansas City Chiefs defense of years past. However, they do have insane playmakers in Justin Houston, Marcus Peters, and Tamba Hali.
Chiefs 21 – Titans 10
The Chiefs are just far too well rounded for the Titans, who just barely got in. I don’t love the Chiefs going much further, but they’ll throw their fanbase a bone, and win a meaningless Wild Card game in 2018.
I leave you with a photo from the Chiefs last home playoff win: