The Chiefs bring a 2-game preseason winning streak into tonight’s matchup with the Tennessee Titans at Arrowhead Stadium. Overall during their time under Andy Reid’s tutelage, the Chiefs are 5-5 in the preseason. Tonight’s game makes for an interesting matchup for a few reasons, which will be outlined below, along with a preview of the game and a prediction:
First, the Chiefs and Titans squared off in Week 1 of the regular season in 2014, with the Titans coming away victorious after intercepting Alex Smith 3 times and holding Jamaal Charles to only 19 rushing yards. The Chiefs also lost Derrick Johnson and Mike DeVito to injured Achilles’ that game, making it one of the worst season openers in franchise history. The game tonight provides the Chiefs a chance to get revenge on the Titans (albeit, meaninglessly).
Second, the Titans roster is full of former Chiefs, including Dexter McCluster, Anthony Fasano, Ryan Succop, Phillip Supernaw, and Andy Studebaker. The current Chiefs will get another chance to defend their home turf against their old teammates.
Third, despite beating KC in Week 1 last season, the Titans had one of their worst seasons ever, and were able to earn the 2nd overall draft pick, which they used on QB Marcus Mariota. The Chiefs and their fans will get a look at potentially one of the QB’s of the future, who has had a mediocre preseason so far. He has completed 12 of 16 passes (75%) for 153 yards and 1 interception. He has also rushed the ball 2 times for -5 yards.
For the Chiefs, it has been announced that the starters will play into the third quarter, which should provide plenty of opportunities to observe the shaky offensive line, and see if Alex Smith and Jeremy Maclin can continue developing their relationship. Several Chiefs players have been injured and did not practice this week, meaning they are unlikely to play. This includes: Eric Fisher and Jeff Allen (projected starting tackles), Demetrius Harris (2nd or 3rd Tight End), Dontari Poe, De’Anthony Thomas, and linebackers Justin March and Josh Mauga. Fisher, Allen, and Thomas are expected to be ready for Week 1, and hopefully the others are healthy soon as well.
I am interested in seeing whether Jaye Howard and Allen Bailey can continue clogging the middle of the defensive line, if Dee Ford can finally start finishing his rushes, and if Marcus Peters can hang with Harry Douglas and Kendall Wright. I am also hoping Eric Berry plays more snaps than the previous two weeks (8 in the first game and 21 in the second).
I am predicting the Mariota finally throws his first NFL touchdown to Douglas with Peters defending, but Jamaal Charles and Justin Houston prove to be too much for the young Titans to handle: 24-13 Chiefs win.
Let’s go Chiefs!