Brady Akins (Contributor)
I was ready to pick the Chiefs over the Titans before the news of Patrick Mahomes coming back from injury broke. Now that it has, and we know Mahomes will be under center, I’m even more pessimistic than before.
Even with backup quarterback Matt Moore starting for the last two weeks, the Kansas City offense has looked better than anything the Titans have faced this season. Now with their generationally talented quarterback Patrick Mahomes taking snaps once again, it may be hard to slow the Chiefs offense down enough for the Titans to keep up.
Tennessee has looked better on offense since Tannehill took over, but the quarterback showed signs of regression against Carolina last week and was shut out in the first half. The Kansas City defense isn’t as strong a unit as the Panthers, but can’t put more than 20 points on the board, the Chiefs will win in a runaway.
Kansas City getting Mahomes back in the lineup comes at a terrible time for the Titans as well. The Tennessee defense has been in the middle of their worst three-game stretch of the season, and will now be without the services of starting cornerback Malcolm Butler for the rest of the season. Alongside Butler, star players Jayon Brown and Jurrell Casey will also miss the game against the Chiefs.
For the Titans to win this game, they will somehow need to find their offensive rhythm early and keep it going for all four quarters. With how good the Chiefs offense has looked and how undermanned the Titans defense is, I don’t see Tennessee being able to slow down Kansas City and Mahomes. The burden will probably fall on Tannehill and the offense to pull out a win, and I haven’t seen enough from that side of the ball to have much faith that they can do it.
Final score prediction: Chiefs 34, Titans 20