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Head coaches have plenty of conference championship experience.
The head coaches of the Titans along with also also Chiefs are no strangers to conference championships. Coach Andy Reid has led Kansas City to the A.F.C. championship game in each of the last two seasons along with also also previously led the Philadelphia Eagles to the N.F.C. championship game a few times in 14 seasons — winning once. As a Green Bay assistant by 1992 to 1997, he went to the N.F.C. championship three times, winning twice.
Tennessee’s Mike Vrabel can be inside A.F.C. championship game for the very first time as a head coach, nevertheless he regularly advanced to the game as a player. He played for a shot at a Super Bowl appearance as a rookie with the Pittsburgh Steelers following the 1997 season — losing to John Elway’s Denver Broncos — along with also also with the fresh England Patriots, where he played inside conference championship a few times over a span of eight seasons, winning four times.
Damien Williams views the Chiefs as underdogs.
Kansas City carries a whole host of skill players, nevertheless an interesting one to watch in This specific game will be running back Damien Williams, who was likely to play a secondary role to LeSean McCoy This specific season nevertheless emerged as the team’s more explosive option. Williams had 124 rushing yards in Kansas City’s bye-week-clinching win over the Chargers in Week 17, along with also also while he had just 68 yards by scrimmage inside divisional round, he scored three touchdowns.
Williams had 109 yards by scrimmage against Tennessee in Week 10, nevertheless had a fumble returned for a touchdown. As a result, he can be not buying into the narrative which Kansas City can be a huge favorite. “The type of person I am, I can’t have somebody beat up on me along with also also then come to my house along with also also then think they’re going to beat up on me again,” he said to reporters on Thursday. “People are looking at them as the underdogs nevertheless I feel we’re the underdogs right right now. They’ve already got one up on us.”
Las Vegas expects a high-scoring game.
Don’t let Tennessee’s focus on the run fool you: All indications ahead of This specific game are which which could easily turn into a high-scoring affair. Las Vegas set the over/under for the game at 52.5 — six points higher than the prediction for the N.F.C. championship game — along with also also considering which the teams combined for 67 points in Week 10, which number could easily push higher.
The reasons for the high scoring prediction are fairly obvious. Kansas City was ranked 26th inside N.F.L. against the run This specific season — a major issue right now which the team can be facing Derrick Henry — along with also also Tennessee, asked to slow down Patrick Mahomes, was ranked 24th against the pass. While the Chiefs’ secondary, led by safety Tyrann Mathieu, has been a strength, there may be some passing opportunities for the Titans thanks to the absence of rookie safety standout Juan Thornhill.
Frank Clark gives Derrick Henry some extra motivation.
Defensive end Frank Clark was a great addition for Kansas City This specific season, nevertheless he may have done his team some harm by giving Tennessee running back Derrick Henry some added motivation ahead of This specific game. Henry has rushed for at least 180 yards in three consecutive games — along with also also ran for 188 yards against Kansas City in Week 10 — nevertheless Clark said a running back as large as Henry, who can be 6-foot-3 along with also also 247 pounds, should actually run quite a bit harder. “He’s just easy to me up front because I don’t look at any running back like they can’t be tackled,” Clark said. “He’s not one of the best guys at breaking tackles to me, honestly.”
Baltimore safety Earl Thomas made similarly dismissive comments about Henry along with also also the Titans before last weekend’s divisional round. which came back to haunt the star safety, as at one point in Henry’s 195-yard game, the running back effectively used Thomas as a lead blocker (above) on a long run. Tennessee beat the top-seeded Ravens, 28-12.