The playoffs begin. Now it gets serious. In our first post-season matchup of 2018 we have the Tennessee Titans traveling to Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City to take on the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Titans kind of backed into the playoffs, losers of three of their last four games. The Titans are a rare playoff team in that they were outscored by 24 points over the course of the season. The Titans' offense is a bit of a mess. Ranked 23rd in the NFL in both yards and turnovers, the Titans have failed to score more than 24 points in 10 straight games. Their young quarterback Marcus Mariota struggled badly in his 3rd year in the NFL, posting one of the worst passer ratings in the league and throwing more interceptions (15) than touchdown passes (13). Star running back DeMarco Murray also had a down year, and he has been ruled out for the game with an MCL injury. Derrick Henry will take on the lead back duties in his place. On defense the Titans live and die by the turnover. When they generate multiple turnovers the Titans are 5-1. When they generate less than two turnovers the Titans are 4-6.
Unfortunately for the Titans the Chiefs are the best team in the NFL at protecting the ball, having coughed it up only 11 times all year, with only three multiple turnover games on offense. Kansas City features the NFL's rushing leader in Kareem Hunt, along with the NFL's top rated passer in 2018 in Alex Smith. Throw in superstar tight end Travis Kelce and explosive playmaker Tyreek Hill and the Chiefs offense is a difficult matchup for almost any defense. The Chiefs have scored 26 or more points in each of their last five games, and have given up 16 or fewer points in four of their last six games. It all adds up to a Chiefs team on a roll entering the playoffs, winners of four straight games to end the season. With the Chiefs owning one of the biggest home field advantages in the NFL this game looks like a mismatch.
It's the Titans and the Chiefs kicking off the NFL playoffs in 2018. Enjoy the game everybody.