1. The Titans upset the Chiefs in the regular season matchup, but it not surprising the Chiefs are favored. The Titans were at home and it was Patrick Mahomes first game back from his injury. This time, the Titans are on the road and Mahomes is at the top of his game after overcoming a 24-0 deficit in one quarter against the Texans.
2. The Titans have been outgained in yardage in both of their surprising road playoff wins. Both times they were aided by mistakes or turnovers by the Patriots and Texans. If the Chiefs don’t turn the ball over the way the Ravens did four times, the Titans may be hard pressed to pull off another upset.
3. The four coaches in the conference title game have one thing in common. They haven’t won a Super Bowl. But except for Andy Reid, they’re young coaches who are also making their first appearance in the conference title games. That is why Reid has the most at stake. He’s 1-5 in conference title games and lost his lone Super Bowl appearance. The lack of a Super Bowl is a glaring hole in his resume.
4. Derrick Henry has been the workhorse for the Titans, but Ryan Tannehill will be the key to the Titans chance for an upset. The Chiefs are going to put points on the board, which may make it difficult for the Titans to stick with their ground and pound offense built around Henry. They need Tannehill to counter Mahomes if they fall behind.
5. Aaron Rodgers is the only one of the four quarterbacks who has played and won in Super Bowl. And he’s the underdog facing a better team. But don’t look for Rodgers to repeat his poor showing against the 49ers in the regular season when he passed for only 104 yards, lost a fumble and was 0-for-13 on third down in a 37-8 loss. Look for Rodgers to make it close against the tough 49er defense and it wouldn’t be surprising if he pulls off an upset.
6. It is not surprising the two home teams are favored in the conference title games so a Chiefs-49ers Super Bowl is the chalk. But it would be fitting in the NFL’s 100thseason for it to end with a Packers-Chief Super Bowl. That was the matchup for the first Super Bowl before it was called the Super Bowl as the Packers won for their fourth title in their five-title run in the 1960s.