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Kansas City Chiefs

Wildcard Pressure Points: Chiefs vs Titans

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Eric Fisher
Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire

2017 was truly a remarkable season for Kansas City. First the Chiefs beat defending Super Bowl champion Patriots in New England to start the season. They rattled off five straight wins in which quarterback Alex Smith and running back Kareem Hunt both had legitimate claims to be the best at their position. Then they succumbed to God-knows-what and ended up at 6-6. Winning out the last quarter of the season ensured the Chiefs would win the AFC West; rookie quarterback Patrick Mahomes winning his first NFL start against the Broncos in Week 17 was a cherry on top. Now the Chiefs host the Tennessee Titans in the Wildcard round and have the chance to make a run. Let’s see what areas of the Titans’ game might serve as pressure points that the Chiefs could use to break it open Saturday.

Big-Play Coverage

The Titans are 5th in the league at sacking the enemy quarterback, having accumulated 43 sacks over the course of the season. However, they still manage to rank 25th in the league with over 3,800 passing yards allowed and 24th at 27 touchdowns given up through the air. Luckily for Tennessee, they’re much better on run defense. Kareem Hunt will have a tough time against a defense that is 4th in the league for rush yards. The Titans are also first in the league for rushing score defense, having given up only 5 rushing touchdowns all season. If the Chiefs can get Hunt going it will really help.

Offense

It might be a little much to say that the Titans’ entire offense is a weak point. However, they’re statistically right around average or below in just about every major category. Second-year back Derrick Henry and veteran DeMarco Murray provided a nice one-two combo this season. But Murray is injured and out of Saturday’s game. Wide receiver Rishard Matthews and tight end Delanie Walker are both threats. However, quarterback Marcus Mariota has had difficulty getting the ball to his play makers consistently. As a whole, the Titans’ offense is a weak area for the team. If Kansas City’s defensive front can disrupt Tennessee’s rhythm, Kansas City shouldn’t have too much to fear.

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