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Chiefs vs. Titans matchup statistics for Championship round

We take a look at the defensive statistics vs. QB, RB, WR and TE for the Chiefs and Titans in preparation for their Championship round match.

Derrick Henry #22 of the Tennessee Titans looks on from the sideline during the AFC Divisional Playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on January 11, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

Now that we are in the playoffs, we can dig a little deeper into the defensive statistics for each playoff matchup. It is true that statistics can lie or at least obscure the truth we need to see, but on the whole, they can give us a decent idea how teams are attacked on average.

If a team gives up a ton of rushing yards, we can infer that their opponents have a reason to run against them. Maybe they just can’t stop the run or their pass defense is so good teams need to run or maybe game flow has them trailing more often than not and teams look to salt away the game on the ground. At this point in the season we can feel somewhat confident in what a team’s strengths and weaknesses are.

These stats should help us when we go to set our DFS lineups, especially the Showdown slate for this game. Below I have given us the statistics allowed for each position on the season and just below that, for the last eight games of the season for some context on how team defenses are doing more recently. I’ve also opened up the comments on these posts if you have any questions about the statistics.

For this post we’ll look at the Chiefs and Titans.

Quarterback Stats Allowed Season/Last 8-9 games

Season Opp Rank DKP/G COMP ATT YDS TD INT YPA ATT YDS TD YPC
Season Opp Rank DKP/G COMP ATT YDS TD INT YPA ATT YDS TD YPC
Chiefs HOU 13 17.5 351 581 3846 21 16 6.62 53 265 4 5
Titans @KC 15 18.3 405 632 4545 25 15 7.19 59 240 1 4.07
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
(Last 8/9) Opp Rank DKP/G COMP ATT YDS TD INT YPA ATT YDS TD YPC
Chiefs HOU 5 14.4 166 295 1791 10 10 6.07 18 97 0 5.39
Titans @KC 15 18.7 222 342 2487 13 7 7.27 24 100 1 4.17

Both of these teams have given up similar DraftKings points to quarterbacks on the season, but Kansas City has been the better pass defense, as they rank sixth in DVOA against the pass while the Titans rank 21st. In the second half of the season, the Chiefs gave up 10 touchdown passes to 10 interceptions with 6.07 yards per attempt allowed while the Titans gave up 13 touchdowns to seven interceptions and 7.27 yards per attempt.

On their previous matchup this season, Ryan Tannehill completed 13-of-19 passes for 181 yards and two touchdowns while Patrick Mahomes completed 36-of-50 passes for 446 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Titans won that game as Derrick Henry went off and Mahomes had to throw for a season-high 50 attempts. The Titans would love for similar game-flow this time around.

Running Back Stats Allowed Season/Last 8-9 games

(Season) Opp Rank DKP/G ATT YDS TD YPC REC YDS TD TAR YPT Catch %
(Season) Opp Rank DKP/G ATT YDS TD YPC REC YDS TD TAR YPT Catch %
Chiefs HOU 29 30.1 357 1736 10 4.86 100 951 5 138 6.89 72.5
Titans @KC 20 26.1 362 1455 13 4.02 111 860 3 140 6.14 79.3
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
(Last 8/9) Opp Rank DKP/G ATT YDS TD YPC REC YDS TD TAR YPT Catch %
Chiefs HOU 25 27.4 159 758 4 4.77 55 481 1 78 6.17 70.5
Titans @KC 28 28.8 202 845 10 4.18 59 454 1 70 6.49 84.3

Both the Chiefs and Titans have been below average against the run but Kansas City has been the worst of the two, giving up 4.86 yards per carry to running backs and ranking 29th in DVOA against the run while the Titans ranked 10th. When these teams met earlier in the year, Derrick Henry 23 times for 188 yards and two touchdowns. On the season, the Chiefs gave up seven games of 99 or more rushing yards while the Titans gave up two such games.

Damien Williams had a decent game against the Titans, rushing 19 times for 77 yards and catching all five of his targets for 32 yards. Henry gets the better matchup of the two and even if they are trailing, the Titans will get Henry work.

Wide Receiver Stats Allowed Season/Last 8-9 games

(Season) Opp Rank DKP/G REC YDS TD TAR YPT Catch %
(Season) Opp Rank DKP/G REC YDS TD TAR YPT Catch %
Chiefs HOU 2 26.4 154 1956 11 276 7.09 55.8
Titans @KC 17 35.1 212 2751 13 334 8.24 63.5
* * * * * * * * * *
(Last 8/9) Opp Rank DKP/G REC YDS TD TAR YPT Catch %
Chiefs HOU 1 22.7 65 838 5 135 6.21 48.1
Titans @KC 21 37.3 117 1512 7 186 8.13 62.9

Kansas City has shut down opposing wide receivers this season, allowing the second-fewest DK points to the position while the Titans have allowed the 17th-most. Before last week, the Chiefs hadn’t allowed a 100 yard receiver since Week 1 but DeAndre Hopkins surpassed that number with 114 yards in catch-up mode. They still managed to keep Nuk out of the end zone and the fact that teams throw a lot against them and they still don’t give up much to wide receivers is a mark in their favor.

The Titans got Adoree Jackson back for the playoffs and that has helped their pass defense, but they still are vulnerable. Mahomes had no qualms with targeting Tyreek Hill 19 times the last time they played and if this game is close, I expect Hill and some of his receiving mates to put up strong numbers.

Wide Receiver Fantasy Points Allowed by position

Team Opp Left WR PPG Right WR PPG Slot WR PPG
Team Opp Left WR PPG Right WR PPG Slot WR PPG
Chiefs HOU 3 7.8 1 7.5 18 19.2
Titans @KC 19 11.7 20 11.7 28 22.2

Kansas City’s biggest weakness against wide receivers in in the slot. Like most teams, the Titans move their receivers around, but A.J. Brown should face the Chiefs worst PFF graded cornerback Bashaud Breeland from the left side more often than not. If the Titans are forced to play catch up, Brown should have the best chance to put up strong numbers.

The Titans worst defense against receivers also comes fro the slot and the Chiefs utilize the slot well, getting Tyreek Hill in there 54 percent of his snaps. It’s just another reason to like Hill this Sunday.

Tight End Stats Allowed Season/Last 8-9 games

(Season) Opp Rank Pts/G REC YDS TD TAR YPT Catch % DVOA
(Season) Opp Rank Pts/G REC YDS TD TAR YPT Catch % DVOA
Chiefs HOU 28 14.3 98 974 5 144 6.76 68.1 4
Titans @KC 25 13.7 83 954 9 123 7.76 67.5 20
* * * * * * * * * * *
(Last 8/9) Opp Rank Pts/G REC YDS TD TAR YPT Catch %
Chiefs HOU 26 15.6 47 507 4 69 7.35 68.1
Titans @KC 22 14.3 47 541 5 64 8.45 73.4

Both teams have been poor against tight ends, as the Titans have given up the 28th-most DK points to the position while the Chiefs have allowed the 25th. The Titans rank 20th in DVOA to the Chiefs 4th place ranking, so there is a discrepancy there in their ability to stop tight ends, especially in higher-leverage situations.

Travis Kelce caught all seven of his targets for 75 yards and a touchdown and Jonnu Smith caught 4-of-6 targets for 30 yards and Anthony Firkser caught 3-of-4 targets for 36 yards and a touchdown the last time these teams met. I think we can count on Kelce putting up a good game this week, while Smith or Firkser have a shot at finding the end zone. Smith is the better offensive player and has a better chance of putting up numbers.