The Tennessee Titans are headed to the AFC Championship game for the first time since 2002. Tennessee shocked the NFL world on Saturday night by rumbling over the top seeded Baltimore Ravens 28-12. And it all started with Derrick Henry wearing down the Ravens defense during the course of the game. He imposed his will by rushing for 195 yards on 30 touches and added a jumping TD pass.
On the other side of the ball, the defense stepped up to the plate and did what they had to do and that was to contain Lamar Jackson. Although the Ravens racked up over 500 yards of offense, the Titans had three takeaways and two key 4th down stops which helped secure the victory. The Titans simply charmed their way to the AFC Championship game in “Charm City”.
The Titans are Built for the Super Bowl
The Titans in the Super Bowl, what? Yea, rewind all the way back to week 6 where the Titans suffered a 16-0 loss to the Denver Broncos and you would think that this team should not even be considered a contender. Well, here we are the Tennessee Titans are only 2 wins away from capturing their first Super Bowl in franchise history. And by the looks of it, the notion of the Titans winning it all is not as far fetched as it was just two weeks ago. Which goes to show how head coach Mike Vrabel has gotten his guys ready.
The game plan has been simple for the Tennessee Titans this post season. It starts and ends with NFL rushing champ Derrick Henry. By using Henry as the workhorse of the offense, the Titans shorten the game up by pounding away and chewing clock as they convert first downs. This keeps the opposing teams offense off the field and allows the Titans to control the game.
The key has been to get off to hot starts and to play with a lead. This also allows the offense to not only dictate the pace of the game, but to keep running the ball at a high rate. This has also helped Ryan Tannehill in the timely passing game. You see, the running game opens up the field and with Henry being the overwhelming factor in the offense. Which leads to the league leading play action offense In the NFL. Defenses are expecting the ball to go to Derrick Henry, but once Ryan Tannehill fakes the handoff you can expect him to find star rookie wideout A.J. Brown down the field. Tannehill is also very efficient when it comes to play-action. According to yahoo sports, Ryan Tannehills completion rate on the play-action pass is at 75.6% which ranks 3rd in the NFL. It is just a matter of when the Titans run the play-action pass that makes this offense dangerous.
When it comes to the defense, the Titans are making all the right plays at the right time. They have proved that they are a more then capable defense these past two weekends by only giving up a total of 25 points. And what is more impressive is that the Titans defense has done all of this on the road.
They have taken down two MVP quarterbacks and stopped literally the best rushing attack ever in NFL history.
Not to mention this defense is the offenses biggest weapon. How? Well the key is to get off the field on third downs. This allows the Titans offense to control the game. The defense and offense have gone hand in hand for the Titans and it is clearly working. The question now is can this defense do again next weekend in Kansas City against Mr. Mahomes?
The AFC Championship
The Titans next opponent on the road to the Super Bowl is the daunting Kansas City Chiefs. I say daunting because of what they did on Sunday afternoon against the Houston Texans. Patrick Mahomes and company were down 24-0 at the end of 1. After that it was all Chiefs, they proceeded to outscore the Texans 51-7 in just three quarters! That is just unreal and the Titans now have to take on yet another MVP and another unsurmountable offense.
But Derrick Henry is coming to town and he has dominated the top 2 defenses on his way. Can Henry do it again? Well the numbers are saying that the Tennessee Titans game plan to run up the middle will work once again. In the previous matchup between the Chiefs and Titans that took place back in week 10, Derrick Henry rushed for 188 yards on 23 carries.
So, we know that the Titans can stick to the running game and win and score a lot of points during the process. Another stat that stuck out, is that Patrick Mahomes threw for a season high 446 yards in their matchup. The trend here is that the Titans can win any type of game that is presented to them.
And with the Chiefs rush defense being suspect, the Titans and Derrick Henry should have their way with Kansas City. With that being said, the Tennessee Titans will have to bring out all the stops if they want to eliminate yet another MVP to reach Super Bowl LIV in Miami.
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