Kansas City Chiefs

2 Kansas City Dreams and 1 Tennessee Nightmare

Photo Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel (USA TODAY Sports)

The Kansas City Chiefs have clawed their back to .500 after a 1-2 start to their season and currently have a 3-3 record. A Week 7 bout against the Tennessee Titans should provide ample opportunity for the Chiefs to impose their will.

The Titans are 4-2 after beating the Buffalo Bills last week. They lead their division and have reasserted themselves as a contender in the AFC. Capturing a decisive win against a fellow AFC opponent on the rise would do wonders for Kansas City’s confidence — and significantly improve their post-season odds.

Let’s take a look at two Chiefs dreams and one Tennessee nightmare in Week 4.

The Chiefs’ offense has ZERO turnovers

The only thing that has kept the Chiefs from being 5-1 is turnovers.

Their offense nearly let the game get out of hand last week in Washington, with two unfortunate interceptions by Patrick Mahomes that had them entering halftime down 13-10 to a team with multiple injuries on both sides of the ball.

For Kansas City to stay in this game against the Titans, they cannot put the ball back in the hands of Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry. Tennessee beat Buffalo last week by staying true to their offense, not getting rattled by being down late, and taking advantage of the opportunities that presented themselves. The Titans’ defense could get home and sack Josh Allen three times and force an interception.

If the Chiefs are going to improve to 4-3 and make their way back into the AFC standings, it starts with limiting turnovers against Tennessee on Sunday.

Kansas City’s defense “limits” Derrick Henry

The Kansas City defense has to hope they can limit Henry. The Arizona Cardinals are the only defense to hold Henry in check, and that was in Week 1 when they held him to 58 rushing yards. Arizona got out to an early lead, forcing the Titans to rely on the passing game. As a result, Henry only had 17 carries. He has averaged 29 carries in the five games since.

The game plan for Kansas City is multi-faceted. If the offense can jump out to a lead, then the Titans’ offense won’t be able to grind out longer possessions as they try to stay in it. However, if the Chiefs’ offense has trouble getting off the ground, as has been a trend this season, then the Titans will be able to keep it close, and Henry could easily see over 30 carries. If the offense can get a lead, the KC defense should dial up creative packages to slow down Henry.

Derrick Henry goes scorched earth on KC

Last year’s rushing-yardage leader and a newly minted member of the 2,000-yard club has not slowed down in 2021. Henry is currently on pace for more yards this year than in 2020: 2,088 yards through 16 games and 2,200 yards over 17 games. Last year he had 2,027.

The only way this game could get out of hand is if Henry goes scorched earth on this Kansas City defense, consistently getting to the second level and demolishing this linebacker core and the secondary units on his way to a monster game.

Henry is averaging 130.8 yards rushing per game, and the Chiefs are allowing 130 yards rushing. Kansas City has to get their linebackers going downhill and stop the engine to this Titans offense, or it will be a long day for the Chiefs defense on Sunday.

 

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