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Tennessee Titans @ Kansas City Chiefs (-7.5)
TITANS: 9-7, 9-7 ATS
CHIEFS: 12-4, 10-5-1 ATS
We always say to be careful about misleading statistics, even when they’re our Quality Statistics. A quick glance would seem to indicate that Sunday’s AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium will be a whitewash. We’re here to tell you it won’t be.
First, an acknowledgement: Yes, the Chiefs are the favorites, and they should be. Patrick Mahomes is healthy again and playing like it. Just ask the Texans defense. Yet, as much as the Chiefs should be the team headed to Miami, we have a sneaking suspicion that Derrick Henry may be such a dump truck against one of the AFC’s most porous defenses that it may not go that way.
About that rushing differential. The Titans rank second in the league in Offensive Rusher Rating. The Chiefs rank 24th in Defensive Rusher Rating, even though that’s improved over their early season form (and their 2018-19 postseason form). The Chiefs are a perfectly respectable 13th in Offensive Rusher Rating, but Tennessee’s rushing defense is stout, ranking sixth league-wide.
The point is clear: Tennessee should be able to run the ball all day, controlling time of possession and making the most of their opportunities when they reach the red zone, just as they did in Baltimore. Kansas City will have to rely on their magic man under center.
That could spell…