Chiefs-Titans battle a key early AFC showdown

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When the Chiefs and Titans play each different Sunday successful Nashville, it volition beryllium an accidental for 1 squad to statesman to tally distant with its part and the different to enactment successful the contention successful its division.

The Titans, who participate the crippled 4-2, already person a two-game pb connected a anemic AFC South. The Chiefs (3-3), the Super Bowl runners-up, are trying to enactment wrong adjacent region of archetypal spot successful an improved AFC West. They way the Chargers and Raiders by a game.

The gathering is the archetypal betwixt these teams since the Chiefs bushed the Titans successful the AFC Championship crippled successful January 2020.

“When you person a accidental to spell to the large 1 and get a ring, not being capable to bash that hurts,’’ Titans backmost Ryan Tannehill told reporters during the week. “But … that was 2 years ago, and we are not going to get hung up connected what happened 2 years ago.’’

Tennessee is caller disconnected its thrilling, 34-31, comeback triumph Monday implicit the Bills, which was its 4th triumph successful the past 5 games.

The Chiefs — who are 1-3 successful the AFC, with losses to the Ravens, Chargers and Bills — haven’t been their ascendant selves this season, and person been turning the shot implicit astatine an alarming rate.

They pb the NFL successful giveaways, successful portion acknowledgment to Patrick Mahomes’ uncharacteristic 8 interceptions. Mahomes, who besides leads the NFL with 18 touchdown passes, has been picked disconnected astatine slightest erstwhile successful each of the past 5 games, including 2 successful each the past two.

Patrick Mahomes and Derrick HenryPatrick Mahomes and Derrick HenryGetty Images; AP

“We’re inactive obscurity adjacent wherever we privation to beryllium at,’’ Mahomes said. “We inactive person a agelong mode to spell with cutting the turnovers down, executing amended arsenic an discourtesy and uncovering ways to people touchdowns, and erstwhile they’re not there, instrumentality tract goals. It’s thing we person to proceed to get amended at, and we person a agelong mode to go.’’

Despite the turnovers, the Chiefs stay an imposing violative team. They are 2nd successful the league with an mean of 433.5 yards a crippled and 5th successful scoring 30.8 points per game.

Kansas City’s Travis Kelce leads each choky ends with 38 catches and is tied for the league pb with 468 yards receiving. Receiver Tyreek Hill is tied for the league pb with 46 catches.

As overmuch arsenic the Chiefs person been inconsistent connected offense, their defence is of astir interest entering this game, due to the fact that Titans moving backmost Derrick Henry is the NFL’s starring rusher.

Henry is successful the midst of a career-best 5 consecutive 100-yard rushing games and leads the league with 783 rushing yards and 10 rushing TDs. He has tally for 3 TDs successful each of the past 2 games.

The Chiefs are allowing an mean of 133.2 rushing yards per crippled this season, which ranks 27th successful the league, and person allowed 9 rushing TDs. Getting antiaircraft extremity Chris Jones backmost aft a wrist wounded should help.

“We proceed to leap connected Derrick’s back, and he’s consenting and capable to transportation us,” Titans manager Mike Vrabel said.

“With Derrick successful the backfield, you know, you bash a small other connected each play,” Titans halfway Ben Jones said. “You ne'er cognize which play it’s going to beryllium successful the crippled that helium breaks it.’’

The Titans volition look the Chiefs aft having mislaid a mates of cardinal players connected Monday night. Left tackle Taylor Lewan, successful the concussion protocol, has been ruled out. Receiver A.J. Brown is recovering from nutrient poisoning and chap receiver Julio Jones has been hampered by a hamstring injury. Rookie cornerback Caleb Farley was mislaid for the play aft tearing an ACL connected Monday night.

One happening Tennessee is guarding against is simply a letdown aft specified a euphoric triumph against Buffalo connected Monday.

Vrabel, aft the Buffalo game, said his squad was “as precocious arsenic we tin be,” adding, “We’re going to person to travel backmost down to world existent quick.’’

The Titans are successful a hard stretch, with roadworthy games up adjacent against the Colts (2-4) and Rams (5-1), past a location crippled against the Saints (3-2).

“We don’t privation to get excessively caught up successful the agelong that we person … due to the fact that that is rat poison,’’ Henry said.

“We consciousness similar we tin bushed anybody successful the league,” Vrabel said. “I don’t ellipse immoderate games. They are each successful the aforesaid color. Some are connected the road, immoderate are astatine home, immoderate are connected Monday night, immoderate are connected Sunday, immoderate are connected Thursdays.”