The Tennessee Titans are in the playoffs for the first time since the 2008 season, while the Kansas City Chiefs are looking to advance to the divisional round for the third consecutive year. But despite the difference in recent history, it’s still a compelling matchup to kick off the 2018 NFL postseason.
Here’s everything you need to know to watch Saturday’s AFC wild-card game at Arrowhead Stadium:
Live Stream Info
The game is scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on ESPN and ABC. That means you can watch a live stream via WatchESPN if you have a cable log-in, but if you don’t have cable, you can watch the game online or on another streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services. They cost a monthly fee but all come with a free trial, so you can watch tonight’s game for free:
DirecTV Now: ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN3 are included in all four channel packages. It comes with a free 7-day trial no matter what package you choose, plus you can get $25 off your first month if you enter promo code “BDAY2017”. You can watch on your computer via your browser, or on your tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app
Sling TV: ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN3 are all included in the “Sling Orange” package. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial right here. You can watch on your computer via the Sling website, or on your tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app
PlayStation Vue: ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN3 are part of all four main channel packages. You can sign up for a free 5-day trial right here. You can watch on your computer via the PS Vue website, or on your tablet or streaming device via the PlayStation Vue app
Also Note: You can also watch on your computer via the WatchESPN website, or on your tablet or streaming device via the WatchESPN app. When you’re asked to verify your cable provider, you’ll just use your DirecTV Now, Sling TV or PS Vue credentials to sign in
Watching on Your Phone: If you want to watch the game on your mobile device, you can do so via either the NFL Mobile app or Yahoo Sports app, which are both free to download from both the App Store and the Google Play Store
For the Chiefs, the 2017 season was one made up of three distinct parts. The first, a 5-0 start that saw them set the league afire with 32.8 points per game and wins over the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles. The second, a brutal mid-season stretch where they went 1-6, averaged 19.9 points per game and lost to the New York Giants, Buffalo Bills and New York Jets in successive weeks. And the third, a four-game winning streak to end the season that helped them capture the AFC West and the No. 4 seed.
The difference between the two good stretches and the ugly one mixed in between? Well, there were plenty of differences, but the big one was offensive identity. During the Chiefs’ 5-0 start and 4-0 finish, dynamic rookie running back Kareem Hunt (not counting Week 17 in which he played one minute, had one 35-yard TD carry and was then rested) averaged 21.88 carries, 121.38 rushing yards (5.55 YPC), 3.75 receptions and 31.75 receiving yards with 10 total touchdowns. And during that 1-6 stretch in between, he averaged 13.71 carries, 45.86 rushing yards (3.34 YPC), 3.3 receptions and 28.71 receiving yards with zero trips to the end zone.
Seems simple enough: Feed Hunt, have offensive success, win games.
As such, stopping the run will be crucial if the Titans, who are nine-point underdogs on the road, are going to spring the upset. Fortunately for them, that’s something they’ve done very well this season, as they ranked fourth in the NFL in yards per carry allowed (3.6) and seventh in Football Outsiders’ run defense efficiency rankings.
On the other side of the ball, the Titans are likely to have a similar run-heavy approach, as Derrick Henry figures to lead the way with DeMarco Murray nursing a knee injury. Henry, who turned nine carries into 58 yards and two scores against the Chiefs last year, has been the far more efficient back in Tennessee this year, and more of him against a Chiefs defense that has struggled against the run can only be a positive thing.
Put it all together, and we have ourselves a compelling matchup to start the playoffs. The Chiefs’ home-field advantage and explosive offensive weapons make them deserved favorites, but this one stacks up to be closer than most are expecting.