Titans have to contain Chiefs’ speedsters

Friday, November 8, 2019, Vol. 43, No. 45
By Terry McCormick

The Kansas City Chiefs will bring their high-powered offense to Nissan Stadium on Sunday, and chances are they will have quarterback Patrick Mahomes back after time missed with a knee injury.

The Chiefs will certainly test a Titan defense, which held its own until giving up 30 points in Carolina. Tyreek Hill will be a worry for the Titans to stop, as well Damian Williams at running back. Oh, and did we mention that Patrick Mahomes should be back at quarterback for KC this week?

First down

Contain the Chiefs’ weapons. They have speed to burn at the skill positions. It will be a big challenge for the secondary, especially since it will likely be without Malcolm Butler, who suffered a wrist injury against the Panthers. Hill, Williams and the others Chiefs other targets like tight end Travis Kelce will present matchup problems for Tennessee.

Second down

Pressure Mahomes. Mahomes will likely play in his first game since dislocating his knee against the Broncos a couple of weeks back. Assuming he plays, Mahomes probably won’t be as mobile as usual and the Titans must take advantage of this by getting pressure on him from the pocket.

Third down

Figure out the field goals. Kicking used to be a Titans strength. Now it’s a disaster. Ryan Succop returned after spending the first half of the year on injured reserve. He missed three field goals and raised questions as to whether or not he was really ready to return. Of course, there was the Cairo Santos disaster (four misses vs. Buffalo) and Cody Parkey, who missed a point after vs. the Chargers.

Fourth down

Use Derrick Henry. Henry had two carries for 4 yards at halftime against Carolina. Dion Lewis had more carries than that in the first half, which is tantamount to play-calling treason. The Chiefs’ run defense is the team’s Achilles’ heel. Henry needs 20-plus touches in this game for the Titans to have a real shot to win.