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2020-01-18 13:03:531 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST
-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry stiff arms Baltimore defender in Divisional win. (Image Source: Will Newton/Getty Images)
Here’s a look at the AFC Championship Game:
Time: 3:05 PM ET; TV: CBS (Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson, Jay Feely)
–Tennessee and Kansas City have played in the postseason three prior times with the Chiefs winning the first two matchups and the Titans taking their last meeting just two years ago, a 22-21 Wild Card win in Arrowhead.
–Tennessee also won their most-recent matchup earlier this season, 35-32 in Week 10, while Kansas City leads the all-time series, 29-24.
–The Titans will play in the sixth AFL/AFC Championship Game in franchise history, their first AFC Championship Game since the 2002 season.
–Tennessee is looking to become the third team since 1990 to beat the top three seeds in their conference on their way to the Super Bowl, with the previous two (2005 Pittsburgh Steelers and 2010 Green Bay Packers) holding up the Lombardi Trophy.
–Head coach Mike Vrabel is the first Titans coach to win his first two playoff games since Jeff Fisher in 1999.
–Quarterback Ryan Tannehill (114.8) leads the NFL in passer rating, including the playoffs. He triggered Tennessee’s postseason run with his 23-yard game-winning touchdown pass in Week 10 against KC and has now won his first two playoff starts.
–In the postseason, the offense has been all about Derrick Henry who has rushed for a whopping 377 yards in two playoff games. His 195 yards last week is a franchise postseason rushing record and if you include Week 17, Henry is the first player in NFL history to rush for at least 180 yards in three-straight games. Including their playoff win in the 2017 season, Henry has rushed for 402 yards and five touchdowns in three games against the Chiefs.
–Wrangling Lamar Jackson is arguably the toughest thing to do in the NFL and defensive tackle Jurrell Casey brought him down twice behind the line of scrimmage to become the fifth player in franchise history with multiple sacks in a playoff game.
–Titans Pro Bowl selections: RB Derrick Henry and P Brett Kern.
–Just like the Titans, the Chiefs will play in the sixth AFL/AFC Championship Game in franchise history, as they advance to the AFC Championship Game in consecutive seasons for the first time ever.
–This is headman Andy Reid’s seventh Conference Championship Game, which is the third most for a head coach since 1970.
–In last week’s thrilling Divisional comeback win over Houston, Patrick Mahomes had one of the best playoff games in league history, as he become the first player ever to throw for 300-plus yards (321), at least five touchdown passes (5), and rush for 50-plus yards (53) in a postseason game. He’s thrown 84 TD passes since 2018, including the playoffs, to lead the league.
–Tight end Travis Kelce set a career high with his three touchdown receptions last week to become just the third tight end in the history of the NFL with three TD grabs in a postseason game. Kelce built on a fabulous 2019 campaign, as he led all tight ends with 1,229 yards to become the first player at the position with four-straight 1,000-yard seasons.
–As dangerous as Kelce is, the Titans also know they need to pay a lot of attention to Tyreek Hill. In their Week 10 meeting, Hill exploded for 157 yards on 11 receptions, including a touchdown.
–The closer they get to the goal line the more impactful running back Damien Williams becomes. He rushed for three touchdowns last week to become the fourth player since 1950 with multiple playoff games with three-plus touchdowns. In his career, Williams has eight postseason touchdowns, including a franchise-record seven with the Chiefs.
–In his first season in KC, defensive end Frank Clark is paying major dividends as he became the first player in franchise history with three sacks in a playoff game.
–Chiefs Pro Bowl selections: QB Patrick Mahomes, WR Tyreek Hill, TE Travis Kelce, DE Frank Clark, DT Chris Jones, and RET Mecole Hardman.
Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards.
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