AFC Wild Card
When: January 6th, 4:35 p.m. EST
Where: Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City
Channel: ESPN and ABC
The Titans Travel to Kansas City for First Playoff Game in a Decade.
The Buffalo Bills aren’t the only AFC team breaking a long playoff drought this year. The Tennessee Titans have been shut out of the postseason since 2008, when Kerry Collins and Chris Johnson faced the Baltimore Ravens and lost to a rookie quarterback named Joe Flacco. Flacco celebrates his 33rd birthday in two weeks and now the Titans can finally celebrate another postseason trip.
Tennessee isn’t entering the postseason on fire, though. Mike Mularkey’s squad was 8-4 on December 10 and had a chance to actually win the AFC South. But three straight losses put them in the wild card hunt and they needed a Week 17 win at home versus Jacksonville to make the playoffs. They got it, but their 15-10 victory against an unmotivated Jags team didn’t build much confidence.
The Kansas City Chiefs know all about fading confidence. They started 9-0 in 2013, but finished 2-5 and blew a 28-point lead to the Colts in the Wild Card round. The Chiefs jumped to a 5-0 start this year, but then lost 6 of 7 and the formerly 0-4 Chargers roared back to challenge them for the AFC West. These 2017 Chiefs found another gear in December, winning four straight to close the year and clinching their third consecutive playoff appearance.
What To Expect In the Match-Up Between The Titans and Chiefs
These two star-crossed squads will meet at Arrowhead Stadium Saturday at 4:35 p.m. EST on ESPN and ABC. The playoffs haven’t been kind to these teams in the modern era. The Oilers/Titans franchise has never won the Super Bowl and the Chiefs haven’t won since Super Bowl IV in 1969. This may not be the money match-up of the first round, but the Chiefs and Titans both have some dynamic players who might make this forgotten game an entertaining one.
The Titans are led by quarterback Marcus Mariota, who wants to make amends for a mediocre regular season. In 15 starts, Mariota threw 15 interceptions against only 13 touchdown passes. He scored five times on runs as well, but 18 touchdowns in 15 games isn’t the production the Titans were counting on. Mariota needs to find the end zone more consistently or Tennessee’s return to the postseason will be brief. It’s not all doom and gloom here though, as second-year safety Kevin Byard became a defensive star with an NFL-best eight interceptions.
The Chiefs had a forceful offense in the regular season thanks to quarterback Alex Smith’s career year. Smith threw for 4,042 yards with 26 touchdowns and only five interceptions, unexpectedly propelling himself into MVP consideration. His weapons include fantasy football darling Kareem Hunt, the NFL’s fastest man Tyreek Hill, and juggernaut tight end Travis Kelce. Kansas City had the 6th best scoring offense in the NFL, producing 27 or more points 10 different times.
Who Is Favored
Kansas City is heavily favored and Tennessee will miss injured running back Demarco Murray. But the Chiefs defense has suffered without star safety Eric Berry and Mariota has the talents to exploit breakdowns.
How To Stream The Titans vs. Chiefs in the NFL Playoffs
There’s good news for cord cutters, as ABC and ESPN are simulcasting the game so streaming options won’t be hard to find. See below for a list of services offering the game.
- Tennessee Titans (9-7) vs Kansas City Chiefs (10-6)
- Available Streams
Remember, the game is being broadcast on ABC and ESPN. It’s kicking off tomorrow, January 6th, 4:35 p.m. EST. Don’t miss it.