Playoff time is here! Wild Card weekend begins this week at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs host the Tennessee Titans. Kansas City entered Week 17 in Denver locked in as the four seed. The Chiefs could have faced either the Ravens, the Titans, or the Bills. The Ravens lost to the Bengals and missed out on the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Bills ended the longest playoff drought in North American sports, reaching the postseason for the first time since 1999. Here are some important reasons why the Titans were the best outcome as far as the Chiefs are concerned.
Joe Flacco and Tyrod Taylor are certainly not Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers, but each are light years better than Titans starter Marcus Mariota. Now, the Titans offense is not meant to be a passing offense, but there is no denying that Mariota’s level of play regressed. Mariota threw a career-high fifteen interceptions.
His touchdown total, sunk to thirteen. For opposing defenses game planning against Mariota, it’s quite simple. If you take away his legs, and force him to throw into coverage, the play unravels. The Chiefs pass rush improved late in the season. Also, the defensive backs elevated play.
How the Titans Matchup on Defense
The Titans wasn’t the best in the league, but they really had a strong showing late last season. This season the Titans may not be as well rounded defensively, but they have been really good on run defense, ranking fourth at the end of the regular season. This could seem like a bad thing for Kareem Hunt, but Chiefs fans know how much missed tackles Hunt has forced this season on way to finishing as the league leader in rushing. This will really force the Titans to have to stop all of the Chiefs weapons.
Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce finished the season with one thousand receiving yards. Albert Wilson enjoyed emergence this season. The Titans rank just twenty-fifth in pass defense. This will give Alex Smith a chance to pick his spots.
This is the first time the Titans reached the postseason since 2008. But, head coach Mike Mularkey never coached in a playoff game. The Titans also are still a fairly younger team, especially on offense. Inexperience is something that people can say doesn’t matter, but the NFL season is an extremely emotional and enduring roller coaster just to get to this point.