The Titans fell to 4-5 last week in a demoralizing loss in Charlotte. It was yet another example of coaching incompetence, as Arthur Smith chose to wait until the second half to unleash Derrick Henry against one of the league’s worst rushing defenses. Ryan Succop’s missed field goals didn’t help, and neither did the play of Panthers’ star running back Christian McCaffrey.
With the season feeling like it’s slipping away, Tennessee draws a date with the Kansas City Chiefs. Making everything just that much more difficult, the Chiefs are likely to get quarterback Patrick Mahomes back for Sunday’s game.
So the Titans, who just put top cornerback Malcolm Butler on injured reserve, will now be tasked with stopping the league’s most potent passing attack. That’s probably not going to happen, meaning the Titans’ offense will have to keep pace.
Somehow, this line opened at just 3.5 in favor of the Chiefs out in Vegas. That number has since been bet up to 6, as of Friday morning. The total is currently at 48.5.
We’ve seen defensive coordinator Dean Pees draw up some masterpieces before, but he’s going to have to come up with his best work yet if the Titans want to win this one. Making matters more difficult for him are injuries, however. Jayon Brown, Jurrell Casey, Harold Landry and Jeffery Simmons are all listed as questionable heading into Sunday. No Malcolm Butler means LeShaun Sims will take his place in the starting lineup.
Meanwhile, Pees has to figure out a way to stop Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and the rest of the Chiefs’ weapons on Sunday afternoon.
The Titans will likely need to ride Derrick Henry early and often in this one. If Henry and the offensive line can keep the chains moving, Tennessee has a fighting chance. But more often than not, that hasn’t been the case consistently this season.
It’s tough not to like Kansas City here, but the Titans have surprised us all before.