- The Titans have won two straight playoff games with QB Ryan Tannehill throwing for less than 100 yards
- Bettors can wager on Tennessee doing so again versus Kansas City in the AFC Championship Game (Jan. 19th)
- The odds are extremely long of a third straight occurrence
The Tennessee Titans have won two playoff games and reached the AFC Championship, and they’ve done it in an unconventional way. Running back Derrick Henry has shouldered most of the load, so much so that Ryan Tannehill failed to reach 100 passing yards against both New England and Baltimore.
Parlaying their momentum into a Super Bowl appearance will be a tall task. Kansas City stands in the way as 7.5-point favorites over the Titans (-350 moneyline). The odds of getting to the Super Bowl with Tannehill staying under 100 yards are much much longer. Oddsmakers have set the odds at +1500 for Tennessee to win and Tannehill staying under the 100-yard mark in passing yards.
Odds on Titans Winning with Tannehill Under 100 Passing Yards
Odds taken Jan 15
Tannehill the Game Manager
The phrase “game manager” is an overused term, often used in a derogatory way to deride the quarterback in question. However, in the case of Ryan Tannehill, nothing could be more accurate when evaluating his play in the postseason.
Derrick Henry has led the way, and Tannehill has been reliable when called upon. He’s thrown three touchdowns and just a single interception, which came in the victory against the Patriots and their league-best defense. In total, he’s only thrown 29 passes in two games.
Tannehill’s stats stand in stark contrast to the quarterback he’ll face on Sunday. Patrick Mahomes had more attempts in a single matchup with Houston (35) than the Titans passer has had in two games. The Chiefs pivot compiled 321 yards in that win over the Texans.
Redemption Season for Tannehill
After injuries led Miami to move on from Tannehill, it seemed he had moved into the “backup” phase of his career. He started this season as the backup to Marcus Mariota, but after Tennessee’s 2-4 start, Tannehill got another chance.
In 10 starts, Tannehill averaged 259.8 yards per contest. That run included games with 391 yards (OAK), 331 yards (CAR) , and 312 yards (LAC).
That said, he did have four games in which he finished with under 200 yards, and Tennessee was 4-0 in those matchups.
Can Titans Take Down KC Again?
Betting on a Tennessee win on Sunday is not without precedent. In Week 10, the Titans welcomed Kansas City to Nashville and earned a 35-32 comeback victory over Mahomes and the Chiefs.
It’s especially pertinent in this case, because that win came in one of Tannehill’s less-productive outings. He was just 13-of-19 for 181 yards on that day, and it was Derrick Henry who powered the offense. The big back had 188 yards on 23 carries against a Kansas City defense that ranked just 26th against the run, allowing 128.2 yards per game.
Can Titans Win Without Another Huge Game from Henry?
It goes without saying, but Derrick Henry has been a monster this season. In a league that has become so pass-oriented in the last decade, Henry’s physical, overpowering attack has been a unique thing to witness.
Tennessee’s recent history suggests they have little chance to win if Henry and the run game are stymied.
In games in which the running back finished with under 100 yards, Tennessee’s record is just 3-6. In losses, he posts just 63.5 yards per contest. In contrast, he averages 139.6 yards in games that the Titans have been victorious.
In the Titans’ last eight games, they’re 7-1. In those games, Henry finished under 100 yards just once. That was the lone defeat during that stretch.
When it comes down to it, if Tennessee is going to advance to the Super Bowl, they’ll have to do so on the back of Derrick Henry. If you think they have a reasonable chance to win the game, there’s better value on this prop at +1500 than the Titans’ moneyline at +265.
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