Watching most NFL media this week, this is the question being asked. Analysts and experts are trying to find a way for the lowly six-seeded Tennessee Titans to sneak into the Super Bowl. Some are saying the Kansas City Chiefs losing to the Titans would be a massive failure. Now, if the Chiefs were playing the Patriots or Ravens, maybe this would be a better game. Maybe those teams would have a chance. Wait, aren’t those the teams the Titans just beat on the road in convincing fashion? I think they are.
Obviously the Chiefs should be favored. The game is in Kansas City and Patrick Mahomes is playing like the best quarterback in football. They just hung 51 points on the Texans without scoring in the first quarter. The Chiefs are a great football team. However, anyone who doesn’t think the Titans are too hasn’t been paying attention.
No One Can Stop the King
All the Chiefs have to do to beat the Titans is stop the run, right? Well, no, the Titans actually have the quarterback who led the league in passer rating this season, but that’s another article. Even if that were true, how do you stop the run against the Titans? The Patriots and Ravens both knew what they were going to get, a steady dose of Derrick Henry. They loaded the box and committed to stopping him and claimed that they wouldn’t be afraid to tackle him. Yet, he has over 200 scrimmage yards in each of the last two games.
The way the Titans’ offensive line is mauling opposing defensive fronts and how Henry is running, you can have whatever plan you want. No one is proving that they can stop this Tennessee rushing attack. The Chiefs also may be missing their best defensive lineman, Chris Jones, who missed practice on Wednesday. Sure, if the Chiefs can stop Derrick Henry, they should have a good shot to get to Miami. However, that’s a lot easier said than done.
The Titans Defense Won’t Give Up 50
Tennessee’s defense went into Foxborough in January and shut down Tom Brady and the Patriots two weeks ago, holding them to just one touchdown and no points in the second half. The Patriots don’t have a good offense though, so apparently that is irrelevant. So, let’s look at the Baltimore Ravens who hadn’t lost in three months and were putting up game-changing offensive numbers. They actually scored fewer points than the Patriots.
The Titans did allow over 500 yards of offense, but that’s how this defense plays. They let Lamar Jackson make his plays between the 20’s and then clamped down and made big plays when they needed to. Patrick Mahomes is the best quarterback in football right now, but this defense has playmakers and coaches in place to get Tennessee to the Super Bowl. The Titans probably won’t hold Kansas City under 20 points, but this unit can do enough to keep Tennessee in the game.
Let’s also not forget that the Titans have a very different offense than the Texans. Houston abandoned the run almost immediately after the Chiefs’ offense started to click. Tennessee ran the ball almost exclusively in the two-minute drill against the Patriots to end the first half. The Titans are built around the run and will control the time of possession to keep Mahomes and Co. off of the field.
The Hottest Team in Football
This won’t be an easy game for the Titans by any means. However, anyone who thinks this will be a shocking upset if the Titans win is misinformed. Tennessee deserves to be in this game and will put themselves in a position to win.
As Delanie Walker said earlier in the season after the Titans “shocked” the Browns, “Y’all can crown ’em if you want to crown ’em. Still gotta play football.”
That’s exactly what the Titans plan to do.