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Chiefs-Titans: 5 questions with the enemy

We welcome Music City Miracles for answers to five questions about the Titans before Sunday’s Week 9 matchup

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Tennessee Titans Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

On Sunday the Kansas City Chiefs face the Tennessee Titans. According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Kansas City is favored to win. We welcome Jimmy Morris of Music City Miracles — our sister SBNation site covering the Titans — for Five Questions with the Enemy.

1. Why do you think the Chiefs struggle with the Titans?

Last year it was because the Titans were able to relentlessly pressure Patrick Mahomes. They have one of the best defensive tackles in football in Jeffery Simmons. They had, in that game, Harold Landry and Bud Dupree (thought he wasn’t fully healthy) coming off the edge and Denico Autry coming from different places as well. This year, they don’t have Landry — but they do have a healthy Dupree. The question is whether or not they can get the same pressure on Mahomes that they did last year. This defense has played really well during the five-game winning streak, but the offenses they have faced haven’t been very good. This is going to be a big test for that unit.

2. Who’s been the standout player for the Titans defensively?

Jeffery Simmons is the guy that wrecks things from the middle. He is a top-3 defensive lineman in football. His ability to collapse the pocket frees things up for the other guys on the defensive front. With that being said, the defense has been so much better when Dupree is on the field with Simmons. Dupree’s presence forces teams to get away from throwing so many guys at Simmons.

3. The Titans have been one of the AFC’s more consistent teams. What needs to happen for them to win a championship?

They need more playmakers on offense. They have been able to consistently beat bad teams by playing good defense and running the ball. They haven’t been able to get over the hump because when you run up against teams like the Chiefs and Bills — when it matters most — you have to be able to score points. Derrick Henry is going to go down as one of the best running backs in NFL history, but they need a couple of guys that can make plays down the field to take the focus off of Henry in January. Two of the last three years they have been put out of the playoffs because the team they faced was ultimately able to stop Henry — and there weren’t enough playmakers on the outside to make things happen. Last year they were put out when Ryan Tannehill had a meltdown.

4. Other than Henry, are there other offensive playmakers that the Chiefs should be aware of? Perhaps an anytime touchdown scorer bet?

This ties into my previouos answer. They are hurting for guys on the outside that can make plays. I will say that backup running back/third down back Dontrell Hilliard has been a playmaker for this team. He has three receiving touchdowns and is averaging 7.8 yards per carry on the season. He will probably see a significant amount of work in this one.

Author’s note: a Dontrell Hillard anytime touchdown scorer bet is currently available at +600.

5. How does this one play out? Score prediction?

I think the defense can keep it close early, but ultimately the Chiefs pull away and win 28-13. I just don’t see how the Titans have enough firepower to hang with the Kansas City offense.

Be sure to check out the answers I gave to their questions by clicking here.

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