The Kansas City Chiefs will travel to the Music City this week for a date with the Tennessee Titans. Kansas City is coming off a close victory, in which they needed a last second field goal to defeat the Minnesota Vikings. Meanwhile, Tennessee has been a middling team this season. However, things have taken a turn for the better after making Ryan Tannehill the starting quarterback a few weeks ago. The Chiefs will enter this matchup at 6-3, while the Titans are currently 4-5.
As of this writing, it seems like there is a good chance Patrick Mahomes will return. But that has yet to be confirmed. Other injured players like Frank Clark, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Kendall Fuller have worked their way back in practice. Kansas City could be hitting their peak at the perfect time. Today though, we are going to talk about the Chiefs opponent for this week. From behind enemy lines, here is our view of the Tennessee Titans.
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King of the Hill
As mentioned earlier, Tennessee has seen an uptick after changing quarterbacks. Ryan Tannehill has given his receivers more chances than the season opening starter Marcus Mariota. As for Mariota, it looks very certain that his days are numbered in Nashville. The former number two overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft will be looking for a new gig in 2020.
Before the QB change, the Titans were averaging just 16.6 points per game with Mariota. On the other hand, Tennessee has averaged 23.3 points per game in the three games where Tannehill has started. The offense is still very methodical and relies on the rushing attack of Derrick Henry often though. Between the two quarterbacks, the biggest difference is that Tannehill is more willing to pull the trigger and force balls into tight windows. Where he has struggled the most since taking over, has been with turnovers. He has thrown three interceptions in the last three games, including two last week against the Carolina Panthers. If Kansas City can continue their strong play against the pass, as well as providing pressure, things will be slow moving for the Titans offense.
Middle of the Pack
As for the Titans defense, this has long been their strength for the last few years under Mike Vrabel. This season things have been up and down and less impactful then in the past. Entering Sunday, the Tennessee defense ranks in the middle of the pack in total defense, rushing defense and passing defense.
Where do they excel? The hardest thing for teams is scoring after they have moved the ball. The Titans are allowing just 18.3 points per game. They do a good job of gang tackling. Additionally, the Titans seem to have underrated speed in their front seven. Led by veterans like Cam Wake, Jurrell Casey, Jayon Brown and DaQuan Jones this defense often won’t go down easily. Following a game where the Chiefs scored just two touchdowns and needed four field goals, getting seven will be an emphasis to put the Titans away.
Nashville can be a sneaky place for some teams to travel to. The Titans have gone 6-2 at home each of the last two seasons before this year. It doesn’t get talked about near as much as it could, because the Titans are constantly a wishy-washy team by the end of the season. The Chiefs don’t seem like they have been pushed around beyond belief in a while. But, the Titans did defeat both Super Bowl teams from the year before at home last year. It was the Patriots and Eagles. Each time, the Titans got good starts out of the gate. Kansas City will need to be the one’s to start out fast, or else things could get ugly fast. This is a sneaky good matchup before the Chiefs head to Mexico City for a Monday night contest against the division rival Chargers.
That will conclude our look at the Tennessee Titans from behind enemy lines. Be on the lookout for the game preview at the end of the week. For more great sports and NFL content, stay tuned to Full Press Coverage.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.