The Bills and Titans put on a show Monday night and ended up having a game for the ages. The Titans came away with an upset at home, coming from behind numerous times on their way to securing a victory. Derrick Henry’s back must hurt, because he carried the team with the load of the offense being placed squarely on his back.
Henry ended the game having rushed 20 times for 143 yards and 3 TD’s, averaging more than 7 yards a carry. The Titans really needed Henry to have a night like he did as QB Ryan Tannehill seemed to be a non-factor in the game, especially early on in the night. What can the Chiefs take away from Monday night’s game that will help them as they head to Nashville on Sunday?
A big takeaway after watching the Titans on Monday was that this team doesn’t give up, or go quietly into the night. They came from behind four times in the game, either scoring to tie the game or take the lead. This shows the Chiefs that even if they can manage to build a lead, they cannot take their foot off the gas like they have a tendency to do in certain situations. This also rides on the assumption they are able to build a lead at all.
The Chiefs will be facing the best group of skill position players they have seen all year. If QB Ryan Tannehill is taken out of the equation (like he tends to do on his own,) the Titans are absolutely stacked in the skill position department. Between Derrick Henry, Julio Jones, and A.J. Brown, the Titans certainly aren’t hurting for weapons and this was made abundantly clear on Monday night.
The upcoming game on Sunday however will be won or lost in the trenches. The primary focus will be on the defensive line and whether or not they can stop or at least contain Derrick Henry, at a minimum. The Bills defense is no joke, yet Henry still managed to gash them for 143 yards and 3 TD’s, showing the Titans can manage to beat a legit team in the Bills even if QB Ryan Tannehill doesn’t bring his A-game.
The Chiefs’ main goal on defense Sunday needs to be to hold Henry under 100 yards. If they can achieve this, this will put them in a great position to come away with a victory.
The Chiefs offense will be facing stiff competition Sunday as well, facing off against a Mike Vrabel-led defense. Vrabel has taken a page out of his old coach Bill Belichick’s playbook in how often he varies the looks his defense shows. In order to put the Chiefs in position to win on Sunday, Patrick Mahomes will need to be patient and let the big plays come only when they present themselves. He will need to resist his urge to force things like he has shown a tendency to do this season.
If the Chiefs can manage to keep Derrick Henry somewhat contained, and Mahomes can let the game come to him, the Chiefs will have a good shot at leaving Nashville with a victory on Sunday. If they can’t do these things, however, the game could get ugly fast, similar to the game against Buffalo earlier this year.
Here’s to hoping the Chiefs can manage, although it’s a lot easier said than done. But if I have taken anything away from Patrick Mahomes’ time at the helm for the Chiefs, it’s that tough things seem to come easy to him. Hopefully, he can keep it up Sunday.