The process for Reid started with the famously mobile QB. Although Vick ran the ball exceptionally for the Eagles, he also didn’t start a spread revolution around the league. But now, almost 10 years later, Reid’s pursuit of a new offense has finally paid off: It is the defining tactical feature of this NFL season. The Chiefs offense combines the countless options of spread plays with the quick-passing game of the West Coast offense that Reid is a disciple of, and the result has been, well, awesome. It’s not just the Chiefs, either. In November, when Denver Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr. said that the Philadelphia Eagles were a “college offense” that had borrowed liberally from Kansas City, he wasn’t talking trash. He’d pinpointed the trend of the season.
AP: Why are the Titans successful running the ball? Is that their plan on Saturday?
MCM: They haven’t been nearly as successful running the ball this year as they were last year. The raw numbers still look good because they run it a million times a game (slight exaggeration). The offensive line has struggled to get the same push this year that they did last year. They have also continued to give carries to an ineffective DeMarco Murray. That won’t be an issue in this game as Murray won’t be playing, but Derrick Henry struggled last week in the feature role.
“You think the Chiefs are going to be fine with the next coach of the Oakland Raiders sitting in a booth?” Eisen said. “Don’t expect Andy Reid to say, sit down for your pregame interview. Or yeah, sure, here’s practice. You want to take a look at practice? No way.”
This is the second consecutive All-Pro honor for Kelce, 28, who led the Chiefs in catches with 83 and finished second in receiving yards with 1,038. He also caught eight touchdown passes. Kelce was a first-teamer a year ago, but he lost out this time to New England's Rob Gronkowski, who caught 69 passes for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns and received 40 votes to Kelce’s 10.
The Chiefs Gameplan podcast is back for the Kansas City Chiefs’ AFC Wild Card matchup against the Tennessee Titans (9-7).
An early indicator of how the Chiefs offense is going to do can usually be seen through Kareem Hunt. If Hunt is rolling early, I will ease my concerns and feel pretty confident about this game. Alex Smith and the Chiefs offense will play well if that happens.
3. All Titans’ fans are pointing to the Chiefs’ run defense as a reason the Titans can win this game. What have teams been able to take advantage of in the Chiefs’ defense to have success on the ground?
The Chiefs run defense was in a worse spot during their losing streak earlier this season. They were regularly getting gashed against the run. However, the Chiefs have been much better stopping the run lately. They’ve allowed one team to rush for 100 yards in the last month and that was last week against much of the Chiefs second team defense. This is really about whether the Chiefs want to line up with six or seven defensive backs or whether they’re willing to become a little more vulnerable in the secondary and make stopping the run their top priority. If the Chiefs line up in their base defense, they can contain (not completely stop) the run.
We saw last year that the Titans’ current scheme and roster can compete with and win against the Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium while it’s cold outside. The Titans’ defense, the team’s saving grace this season, will be challenged in this match-up. It remains to be seen whether the Titans’ offense can exorcise its demons for the new year and in time for a potential playoffs run. Marcus Mariota, Derrick Henry, and the interior OL and receivers will need to have success in order to keep this game within reach.
And at the Westport Flea Market, a Chiefs win on Saturday means big discounts for customers.
“If we win, which we are -- we're going to win, I`m going to guarantee it -- I`m going to turn back the prices of a burger to 1969, the last time we were in the Superbowl or won the Superbowl,” said Joe Zwillenberg, owner of the Westport Flea Market.
RB Derrick Henry vs. LB Derrick Johnson – With Titans running back DeMarco Murray dealing with a knee injury, Henry is expected to receive a heavy workload for another week. He ranked ninth among qualified running backs with an elusive rating of 60.5, and his average of 3.23 rushing yards after contact per attempt was fifth-best for his position. A majority of Henry’s production this season came when he ran to the left side of the offense. When rushing to the left, he racked up 509 rushing yards and five touchdowns. Running backs running to the right side of the Kansas City defense (offense’s left) averaged 4.75 yards per carry this season, as compared to a 3.52 average when running to the defense’s left.
JASON WOLF: Because it’s more interesting that way. And possible. We’ve seen the Titans win a game in Kansas City just last season — the coldest game in franchise history — defeating a Chiefs team that finished with a 12-4 record. Also, having been raised in Philadelphia, I’ve seen far too many teams coached by Andy Reid fall flat in the playoffs. The Chiefs, by the way, have just one win in their last 10 playoff games and are winless in their last five playoff games at home.
ESPN’s NFL Twitter account put out a graphic promoting this weekend’s games and for the Chiefs picture look who they used. Patrick Mahomes.