This Sunday the 4-0 Kansas City Chiefs are facing their first road test of the season as they travel to take on the 3-1 Tennessee Titans. Despite the fact that the Titans are playing their third consecutive home game where they are unbeaten, this game is the Chiefs’ to lose.
Long day for CJ2K and co. coming
For the second week in a row, the Chiefs’ defense will be matched up against a team that has struggled offensively. Tennessee is ranked 29th in the NFL in total offense with just under 313 yards per game. Their rushing game, led by Chris Johnson, is a mediocre 14th in the league with 119 yards per game. The passing attack is where the Titans struggle the most.
The Titans are averaging just 193 yards per game through the air and will be starting their second string quarterback. Jake Locker is listed as out with a hip injury and Ryan Fitzpatrick will start in his place. Additionally, the Chiefs may get safety Kendrick Lewis and cornerback Brandon Flowers back off injuries that held them out of last week’s game to boost their second-best in the NFL against the pass defense.
Throw, throw and then throw some more
When the Titans have the ball, it’s clear that the Chiefs have the on-paper advantage. When Kansas City is on offense, it’s closer to a toss-up between these two teams.
Tennessee is giving up just 313 yards per game and has been quite effective at stopping the run, allowing only 99 yards for each 60 minutes of football. The first down churning, time burning drives at the ends of games will be harder for Kansas City to pull off this week.
In order for the Chiefs to score on this Titans’ defense they will have to be effective at what head coach Andy Reid most likes to do–pass to create running room. With each game the Chiefs have taken more shots downfield and quarterback Alex Smith has started trusting his receivers more. Look for that trend to continue against a Tennessee defense that is much more vulnerable to the pass than the run.
To say that points will be at a premium in this game is an understatement. A matchup of top ten defenses most likely means 17 points could win this game. If the Chiefs can take advantage of a favorable situation for their defense and make some big plays in the passing game, they will get to 5-0 for the first time since 2003.