KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) – The AFC Championship game stands on the nearby horizon. For the Chiefs, this is the second game they are looking for revenge after the Titans beat them in week 10 of the regular season.
However, that was the beginning of both teams' rampage to the end of the season. The Chiefs and the Titans are both different teams now, so here is how they stack up.
Quarterbacks and receivers
When you look purely at the passing numbers from the postseason, there's no comparison. The Titans' Ryan Tannehill has only had about a 50 percent completion rate, throwing for 160 yards and 3 touchdowns over the past two games against the Patriots and the Ravens. He even set a record for being only one of two quarterbacks ever to win consecutive playoff games while throwing for less than 100 yards in each.
Patrick Mahomes, on the other hand, has completed nearly two-thirds of his passes, throwing for 321 yards and five touchdowns in the last game alone. He has also been without an interception, whereas Tannehill has one.
Passing and receiving go hand-in-hand. For the Titans, Kalif Raymond, their top receiver in terms of yardage, only has one reception for 45 yards in the past two games. The next best receivers both only have three receptions averaging less than 10 yards each.
Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce has 10 receptions for 134 yards, again in just one game. Sammy Watkins made two receptions for 76 yards, and Tyreek Hill made three for 41 yards.
Tannehill is far from a bad quarterback. He has made some very good passes, and he is a solid time manager. However, next to Mahomes, and given both team's receivers and pass defense rating, the battle in the air should be over before it even begins.
This is where the Titans shine, and Derrick Henry is the man of the hour. An Alabama alum, this 6-foot 3-inch, 240-pound beast has bulldozed his way to 377 yards in two post season games. Both Patriots and Ravens defenses were unable to stop him, and although he only scored one touchdown, he is instrumental in putting on long, arduous drives that wear down defenses.
In contrast, the Chiefs running game is weaker. Patrick Mahomes was actually the lead rusher in the game against the Texans, putting up 53 yards in 7 rushes. Damien Williams was also put to use when it mattered most, rushing for 47 yards in 12 attempts but also scoring two touchdowns.
The Texans run game was where they excelled most, and while they did score 31 points, they couldn't keep pace with the Chiefs' offense. We will see how the Titans stack up in comparison.
The Titans came out of the regular season ranked 3rd in the league for rushing yards, averaging 138.9 yards per game. That's a stark contrast with the Chiefs run game, where they only averaged 98.1 yards on the ground each game.
However, the Titans passing game was 21st in the league, only averaging 223.9 yards. The Chiefs were ranked 5th in passing yards, averaging 281.1 yards.
When it came to total yards, the gap was closer. The Titans were ranked 12th with 362.8 yards per game. Nevertheless, the Chiefs still took the cake, ranking 6th with 379.2 yards per game.
The Titans have an average defense, ranking 12th in average points given up per game at 20.7. Overall, they tend to allow a lot of yards because their pass defense is only ranked 24th in the league. The rush defense is a little stronger, only giving up 104.5 yards per game on average.
The Chiefs statistically look a little better, ranking 7th in average points give up with 19.2 average per game. They stack middle of the road in total yards given up per game, but they are 8th in passing yards given up, only allowing 221.4 per game. However, rushing defense lacks, ranking 26th with 128.2 yards per game.
The Titans defense is a little stiffer than the Chiefs dealt with against the Texans. However, both teams have weak points where the other thrives.
If the Chiefs can't pull together their defense against the run, Derrick Henry could have a field day. However, the Titans lack in pass defense, which is a clear problem against a team as potent in the air as the Chiefs. While having a good run game is important, the yards and touchdowns seem to come with the pass, and the Chiefs win that battle handily.