Week 10 of the NFL season is here, and one of the matchups features two AFC clubs battling in Nashville. The Kansas City Chiefs (6-3, first in AFC West) visit the Tennessee Titans (4-5, fourth in AFC South), with both teams fighting for playoff spots. This game is a rematch of an AFC Wild Card round game in 2018, when the Titans edged the Chiefs in Kansas City, 22-21.
Here is a preview for Sunday’s game, along with odds and pick.
By the Numbers
With reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes under center, the Chiefs once again field a prolific pass-heavy offense. Even with Mahomes missing the last couple of games, Kansas City still ranks sixth in points per game with 28 and has the second-most passing yards per game. They have been scoring despite having the 24th-ranked rushing attack, averaging around 90 yards per game.
On defense, the Chiefs allow the 11th-most yards per game, but most of them come on the ground than through the air.
A couple of weeks ago, the Titans benched Marcus Mariota for former Dolphin Ryan Tannehill. Tennessee is hoping Tannehill can spark an offense that is 26th in both yards per game (313.7) and points per game (18.7).
Tennessee does run the ball somewhat well but ranks in the bottom third in most other offensive statistics, including passing yards and third-down percentage. However, the Titans have an above-average defense that allows the seventh-fewest points per game with 18.3. They also rank in the top half in yards allowed and third-down conversions.
What to Watch
All eyes will be focused on Mahomes for Kansas City. The Chiefs will need him against a very good defense that has yet to allow more than 23 points in a game this season. Even though he is back on the field, expect Mahomes to play it a little safe and look for high-efficiency completions to wear out the defense, going to tight end Travis Kelce or to speedy wide receiver Tyreek Hill.
Either way, this game will come down to the Kansas City offense versus the Tennessee defense.
For the Titans, look for them to rely heavily on running back Derrick Henry. Henry is up to 644 yards and six touchdowns on the year and is going up against the league’s fourth-worst run defense. With an average quarterback and lackluster options in the receiving corps, Henry will likely get the ball close to 30 times and try to keep the Chiefs’ explosive offense off of the field as often as possible.
As far as the health and injuries of these teams are concerned, Mahomes has been a full participant all week at practice for the Chiefs and is off the injury report. Interior lineman Chris Jones has also been full-go at practice and looks like he’s good to go for Sunday. Pass rusher Frank Clark has been limited for Kansas City all week and is questionable, as is cornerback Kendall Fuller. Meanwhile, starting tackle Eric Fisher has been ruled out.
Tennessee also comes in with some injury issues of its own. The good news is that linebackers Cameron Wake and Harold Landry look like they’re ready to go, as is starting center Ben Jones.
However, some key players will be out for the Titans. Defensive tackle Jurrell Casey has been ruled out, as has middle linebacker Jayon Brown. And Tannehill will have to adjust without tight end Delanie Walker and wide receiver Corey Davis, who are listed as “out” and “doubtful,” respectively.
Odds and Pick
Oddsmakers love the fact that Mahomes is expected to play, as the Chiefs are -6 to win on the road. But the Titans do play a lot of close games and will try to rush Mahomes as often as possible and make his return to action incredibly uncomfortable.
However, I like the all-around talent of the Chiefs, and their win last week against Minnesota showed they are capable of winning games without their star QB. I like the Titans to cover, but the Chiefs to win this game on the road.