The Titans travel to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs in the opening game of the NFL Playoffs next weekend.

Andy Reid has been wildly successful during his tenure as the head coach in Kansas City. The Chiefs have had a winning record in all five seasons under Reid, including four years with double-digit win totals. However, the Chiefs haven't been able to transfer that success to the playoffs with a 1-3 record since Reid has taken over.

Will the Chiefs be able to conquer their playoff demons against the upstart Tennessee Titans?

Chiefs offense vs. Titans defense

The Titans defensive line will have a major advantage over a Kansas City offensive line that has really struggled after the team started the season 5-0. The Chiefs offensive line has fought through injuries all year long, and they will face a stiff test against Tennessee's defensive front on Saturday.

Defensive tackle Jurrell Casey made his third consecutive Pro Bowl roster this year, and Brian Orakpo continues to play well for Tennessee. Sylvester Williams and Derrick Morgan round out a defensive line that will give the Chiefs' offense troubles this weekend. Andy Reid and offensive coordinator Matt Nagy may need to emphasize the short passing game, and perimeter runs to avoid Casey on the interior.

The Titans may not have a player who matches up well with Travis Kelce, but their secondary should be able to contain a Chiefs receiving corps that isn't very deep behind Tyreek Hill and Albert Wilson.

Titans offense vs. Chiefs defense

Tennessee's offense has really struggled over the second half of the season, but they should be able to move the ball against a Chiefs defense that ranks 30th in the NFL according to Football Outsiders.

Eric Berry suffered a season-ending injury in the first game of the year, and Kansas City's defense has never really recovered. The Chiefs run defense is the worst unit in the NFL according to Football Outsiders, and that could be a major issue against a Titans offense that emphasizes pounding the rock and is defined as "exotic smashmouth."

Tennessee ranks ninth in the league in rushing DVOA, and they're well-equipped to take advantage of the Chiefs' porous run defense.

TV schedule

Saturday, January 6th, 4:35 PM ET on ESPN.


Kansas City's unsuccessful playoff history and some major mismatches lead me to believe that the Titans will cover the spread as eight-point underdogs. However, the Chiefs have one of the best home-field advantages in the NFL, and they have a major coaching advantage in the matchup between Andy Reid and Mike Mularkey.

Those two factors will help the Chiefs edge out a narrow victory on Saturday and move on the Divisional Round.