Wildcard weekend is finally here! The Chiefs host the Tennessee Titans in to kick off the playoffs. This will be the first time these two teams have met this season. Last season, they played host to the Titans late in the regular season. Although the Chiefs jumped out to an early lead in that game, the Titans won 19-17 on the leg of former Chief kicker Ryan Succop’s game winning field goal as time expired. But, this is a game that matters a lot more, and the weather will actually be less frigid for this game.
Attack the Titans Defense
Kansas City certainly owns the advantage on offense going up against the Titans defense. However, the Chiefs will turn conservative. That’s what led to the Titans winning last year. Plus, that is also why the Chiefs failed to win a home playoff game in the Andy Reid era. The Chiefs seem like a different team at the moment though, having faced adversity during their mid-season losing stretch. Kansas City will employ a variety of weapons, and Alex Smith continues to improve year after year. The biggest thing for the offense is to keep the foot on the pedal, don’t let up.
Shutting Down Derrick Henry
The Titans will be without veteran running back Demarco Murray in this game, as he is nursing a knee injury. But, the Titans still have an extremely viable runner in second year man Derrick Henry. Henry is a bruising runner. Standing at six foot three, and nearly two hundred fifty pounds, his speed is dangerous. The Chiefs struggle with stopping the run this season. Yet, other than Le’Veon Bell, guys of Henry’s size seem to be the most difficult.
Ezekiel Elliott and Marshawn Lynch, for example, wear down the Chiefs defense. Against Lynch, Kansas city benefited from being ahead, forcing the running game silenced. That is what the Titans offense is designed to do. If the defense can shut the running game down, life is easier for the defense.
There’s always a buzz at Arrowhead Stadium that is hard to match. Believe it or not, these confines miss seeing the Chiefs perform well in the playoffs. The Chiefs last home playoff win came in 1993, when Joe Montana was leading the Chiefs at quarterback. This core has played well at home in primetime games this season, though. Kansas City enjoys a 3-0 record this year in home primetime games, but this game means a lot more. The atmosphere will certainly seem remarkable, and the this team seems ready to end this long-standing drought.