It’s Week 20 of the NFL 2019-2020 season. The AFC and NFC championships.
The Tennessee Titans play the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday afternoon for the AFC chip. Both teams have reached this weekend with impressive post season performances.
The Titans, 9 and 7 during the regular season, defeated the defending champions, the New England Patriots, 20 to 13 during Wild Card Weekend followed by a shocking 28-12 win over the top rated Baltimore Ravens last Sunday, Division Weekend.
The Ravens were the AFC 1-seed compiling a 14 and 2 regular season record. They’d won their last 12 games and received a bye, the first post season weekend off. On the opposite end of that are the Titans, the 6-seed, the lowest seed in both conferences.
Their positions in the seedings matched the two in the Divisional Round, but the Ravens, the home team, played like the lower seed. Down 14-6 at the half, 28-6 after the third quarter, Tennessee dominated the Titans even though Lamar Jackson, the Ravens’
quarterback, compiled 365 passing yards, 31 of 59 completions, 143 rushing yards.
Intercepted twice, Jackson explained, “We just beat ourselves,” also noting his many mistakes, his three turnovers. “That shouldn’t happen.”
The Chiefs defeated the Houston Texans 51-31 in a high scoring first half that can be described as incredible.
Houston came out strong, scoring 21 points in the first quarter, holding the Chiefs, also a bye team, scoreless. But Houston’s dominance was short lived, giving up 28 second quarter points, 28-24 Kansas City at the half.
The Chiefs held Houston to one touchdown in the second half (the third quarter) while scoring 23 more points.
“It was an amazing thing. Everything was working,” said Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs’ QB. “The play calls were open. Everybody was getting open against man-coverage which we’ve been preaching all season long, and guys were making plays.”
In actuality, everything wasn’t working for KC in the first quarter. It looked as if the Chiefs were done, but Mahomes was able to keep it together.
“You saw him going up and down the bench. He was talking to everybody,” noted head coach Andy Reid; he was getting the team settled and keeping them focused.
“As a head coach, you can’t ask for more than that. When he’s the leader of your team and he’s going, ‘Hey, we’re going to be fine. Let’s not wait for the fourth quarter. Let’s go!’ And he did that.”
This was the second game this season between KC and Houston. The first, a 31-24 Kansas City loss. Kansas City also lost to Tennessee during the regular season, 35-32.
“We’ve already played them, and we know they’re a tough team,” said Mahomes about the Tirans. “They’re a team that battles all the way until the end. They’re a team that’s really hot, playing really good football right now, so we know it’s going to take our best effort. And, whatever way, we’ve got to find a way to win.”