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The Tennessee Titans have made it where more than likely no one thought they would: the AFC Championship game. And with that, they play against another team no one thinks they will beat: Kansas City.
The thing is for the Titans, they seem to play their best when people count them out. Even with that though, they will still need to make sure to do a few things to swing the game in their favor.
Keys To The Game
Derrick Henry has been incredible in the playoffs but what has been equally incredible is the play of the Titans’ offensive line. They have been opening holes for Henry and getting up on the linebackers.
In this game, the Titans should have the advantage versus the Chiefs, who gave up 128 yards per game on the ground, which was near the bottom of the NFL.
In their one postseason game though, the Chiefs only gave up 64 yards on the ground and that was without stud defensive lineman Chris Jones on the field. The Titans will have to own this part of the game in order for them to control the time of possession, which will keep Patrick Mahomes and that explosive Chiefs’ offense off the field.
Along with limiting Mahomes’ possessions as much as possible, the ground game opens up things in the play-action game for Ryan Tannehill, A.J. Brown and the Titans’ pass game.
Along with having to win the trenches up front, the Titans definitely have to win that battle defensively. They will have to deal with a Chiefs’ offense that has track speed at every position. The best way to slow down that machine is to slow down the commander of the offense.
The Titans have to create ways to get pressure to knock Mahomes off his spots and even when doing that, they have to get in his face and make him uncomfortable.
Making Mahomes uncomfortable isn’t going to be easy but it has to be done if they want to at least slow down that Chiefs’ offense. And for a Titans’ defense that faced soon-to-be MVP Lamar Jackson last week, they will be up to the challenge.
While the entire defense will be on alert, one particular player that has to have his best game this season will be Kevin Byard. The veteran safety is one of the best safeties in the NFL, yet no one talks about him very much.
In this game and in this matchup against Chiefs’ tight end Travis Kelce, he will get the opportunity to become a household name. While Kelce isn’t the only weapon, he, along with Tyreek Hill can cause some serious issues for defenses.
Wide receiver Corey Davis has been pretty quiet in the playoffs. Well, this is the game he could make some noise. The talented former top five draft pick is going to more than likely draw the second-best corner Kansas City has and if this is the case, he could be a handful.
Besides Kendall Fuller and Tyrann Mathieu, the Chiefs’ secondary can be taken advantage of. This is the time for Davis to make his mark and help the Titans try to make their second Super Bowl appearance.
The Titans are where no one expected them to be and Sunday afternoon, they could shock the world once again.