Titans Look for First Playoff Win Since 2003
Kansas City, Mo | It’s finally here. The Titans are playing in a playoff game for the first time in nearly a decade. Tennessee will play in Kansas City at 3:20 p.m. on Saturday, December 6th.
Tennessee had not made the playoffs since the 2008 season. Tennessee went 13-3 in 2008, but they made an early exit out of the playoffs. Jeff Fisher was the coach then, but Jeff Fisher Syndrome had not taken effect yet.
If you’re looking for the last playoff win, you will have to travel all the way back to 2003.The 12-4 AFC South runners-up defeated Baltimore before falling to New England.
Marcus Mariota sealed the Titans playoff appearance and saw his star turn as he sealed the victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars with a memorable stiff arm that will live on in Titans lore for the conceivable future.
Could the stiff arm go down as a play that sparks a playoff run? The Titans are desperate for a playoff victory, but attaining one will be no easy task.
Tennessee must travel to Kansas City to tangle with an explosive Chiefs offense. The good news? Tennessee placed clamps on Kansas City in their 2016 meeting. The bad news? The Chiefs now have Kareem Hunt, a new play-caller, and a crazy explosive offense.
Kansas City is fifth in the NFL in total offense, while Tennessee is thirteenth in total defense. Kansas City is ninth in the league in rushing, and their offense is nearly impossible to stop when they get Kareem Hunt going. But the Titans have the league’s fourth best run defense. Tennessee’s rushing offense is fifteenth compared to Kansas City’s twenty-fifth ranked run defense.
Keys to the game:
- Run the ball and control the game.
- Tennessee’s offense is at its best when Derrick Henry and Demarco Murray are torching defenses. The running game will be paramount in Kansas City.
- Take care of the football.
- Tennessee can not afford to give Kansas City’s offense a short field.
- Let Marcus Mariota be Marcus Mariots
- The NFL likes to put quarterbacks in a box to “protect them.” To hell with that, let Marcus Mariota be Marcus Mariota. Call plays that benefit him, and watch your offense roll. We all saw what Deshaun Watson was doing, and Cam Newton won an MVP, just allow Mariota to do what he does best.
Things to watch:
1) Field Position
2) Turnover Differential
3) Time of Possession
4) Play Calling
5) Mixing of up-tempo with ball control.