NFC Championship Game Picks: Ride with the Underdog Titans


Tennessee Titans (+7) via KANSAS CITY CHIEFS / Under 53: We preferred defending Patriots against Tennessee in the AFC wildcard round – but with a sustained contribution from Derrick Henry, the dominant opponent, the titans quickly gained the upper hand and held out against the aging godfather.

Many more believers were minted when Henry made additional significant contributions (195 yards worth 30 transfers in the division round) from their past lead when the titans put the AFC's recognized straw bosses (the ravens) behind the eight ball and forced them to try to function optimally on two touchdowns (good luck with it) and consider them dead as Henry and the off-season made the most of the QB transition to Ryan Tannehill.

Tennessee (skilfully led by coach Mike Vrabel in the second year) now has to deal with the survivor of the league, the Chiefs. However, he was blessed with the knowledge that Tennessee's optimal percentage chance again lay in her theoretical ability to gain early leadership. Keep this advantage.

This appears to be critical as Tennessee needs to master ball possession and watch killing by using Henry again to improve mileage and move the chains to keep the ball out of the hands of Patrick Mahomes. The chiefs' defense has tightened significantly since the off-season – shortly after they gave in to this Titan 225 meters on the ground in early November.

Ryan Tannehill
Ryan Tannehill2020 Getty Images

The Titans have taken a 9: 3 lead since Tannehill made his first start in Tennessee. He displaced the multi-year starter Marcus Mariota, whose skills in crawling with Henry's rise were largely superfluous. Ex-Dolphin Tannehill can reliably reach a wider range of offensive attack zones in Tennessee than Mariota could ever do, and is a more than adequate talent to meet Vrabel's needs.

Take a look at Tennessee's enviable competitiveness compared to the chiefs at their recent gatherings, deepen Andy Reid's controversial watchmaking skills during the crunch period, and Reid's lonely Super Bowl appearance (leading the Eagles 2004) in 27 off-season opportunities – and we give Tennessee (+7) a puncher chance, although this is the fourth consecutive away game for the titans. If ace K.C. Charge defender Chris Jones (calf problems) sees no significant measures on Sunday as this would significantly improve the chances of the titans. Tends to favor the new version of Titans ATS, which seemingly haven't peaked and whose style favors an outsider so neglected to this extent, led by a quarterback who finally gets his shot on the main stage.

Choose: Titans, 27-23.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (-7) via Green Bay Packers / over 46: The Packers launched a Hari Kari attack in their previous season engagement on the left coast with the 49ers, and were 37-8 bored in by far the worst statistical representation of the season by Aaron Rodgers. This is not new news, but this result was representative of how NFC Central companies were treated in the vast majority of cases when they recently tried to escape California with a win.

You have to respect what the market makers posted on the boards this week, which will give chalk lovers a much steeper climb if they're looking for enemies from outside NFC West and want to produce ATS hay west of the Rockies.

It doesn't look like we're going to have to do a particularly brave read here to make the most of what this rematch has to offer in the regular season. We have no doubt that this will come noticeably closer than the first meeting.

With nothing to lose but the opportunity, Rodgers (no dummy) will enjoy the luxury of being able to adjust to what he experienced at the November session, to the extent that his staff will make it possible. The fear with Rodgers is that he has passed his peak – and Green Bay needs old Rodgers and not fools.

This is the first post-season run in San Fran since the 2011-2013 course led by Jim Harbaugh, which included three deep playoff runs and a Super Bowl appearance. Unfortunately, a more competitive Packers promotion does not automatically result in Green Bay coverage, let alone a profit.

Where does this take us? We expect a game with a higher score than the last game, which strongly suggests that the game dynamics on Sunday should lead to the announced upper / lower limit being exceeded.

Choose: 49ers, 31-21.

Division round: Pages: 2-2, About under: 3-1
Low season: Pages: 4-3-1, About under: 6-2

Follow Richard Witt on Twitter: @ rich_witt1