AFC Championship Preview

Gavin Henry, Contributing Writer

The Chiefs and The Titans will face off for AFC supremacy this weekend after very different and very difficult paths to get to where they are.

Preview

The first game of this year’s conference title lineup is for the AFC Championship. The six seeded Titans will be traveling to Arrowhead to face off against the Kansas City Chiefs. Arrowhead Stadium is one of the hardest places to play in all of football due to freezing temperatures during this time of year and the extreme amount of noise the fans exert for three and a half hours straight on Sunday’s. Home field advantage and all around a more complete roster have led Vegas bettors to favor The Chiefs are favored by seven and a half points. That spread is quite large for an NFL game, especially in the playoffs.  

Historical Background Info

Kansas City and the Titans have faced off 54 times in their history. The chiefs hold the lead 29-24-0 which goes to show that these teams are historically pretty even. I don’t like to consider the past when evaluating present day matchups and teams but it’s often interesting to see who holds a historical advantage. It’s safe to say there is no distinct advantage here when looking into the past. 

Game Analysis

 The Titans are on their own version of a Cinderella story right now. In the Wild Card round they beat the defending champions in the Patriots which was a massive feat but there’s more. In the Divisional Round, they beat the Baltimore Ravens handily, and the Ravens were the odd on favorites to win the Super Bowl when the playoffs began. Tennessee is being carried by running back Derrick Henry who is playing at a historic rate right now. In his past eight games he has the most rushing yards through any eight games in NFL history. Kansas City has all the reasons in the world to feel as if they will win this game. Their man under center, Patrick Mahomes, is arguably the best quarterback in the league and has a spectacular arsenal of weapons at his disposal. Mahomes is the reigning league MVP as well, and he would love to return to that form this weekend. Tyreek Hill is probably the fastest player in the league and him running routes for Mahomes is a lethal combination. Another major threat to the stout Titan defense is Travis Kelce, who had three touchdowns last week against the Texans. The chiefs have a pretty incompetent running game, almost to the point where I would deem it non-existent. Although The Titans are hot right now, I just don’t trust them in the biggest moments. I believe this is a quarterbacks league and the Chiefs have the obvious advantage in that category. Ryan Tannehill is the Tennessee quarterback and his capable of winning games but I can’t believe he can out duel Mahomes. Due to the glaringly obvious advantage The Chiefs posses at quarterback, I believe they will win this game.