Alex Smith has a big new contract and Kansas City is banking that he will eventually lead the Chiefs to some big wins. Smith recently signed a four-year deal worth $68 million and that will only ramp up the expectations as Kansas City opens its season against the visiting Tennessee Titans on Sunday. The Chiefs started 9-0 in 2013 before declining through a 2-5 stretch and watched a 28-point third-quarter lead slip away in a 45-44 playoff loss against Indianapolis.Tennessee hasn't been to the postseason since 2008 and is hoping the hiring of new coach Ken Whisenhunt will lead to a turnaround. Whisenhunt once guided Arizona to a Super Bowl appearance and his presence could also have a profound effect on injury-prone quarterback Jake Locker. The Titans have also shed themselves of running back Chris Johnson, who topped 2,000 yards rushing in 2009 before his production began to decline.TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Chiefs -3.5. O/U: 43.ABOUT THE TITANS (7-9, 2nd AFC South): Locker (1,256 yards, eight touchdowns) was 4-3 as a starter in 2013 before going down with a season-ending right foot injury. Locker, who has missed 14 of 32 starts, has a solid target in wideout Kendall Wright (94 receptions, 1,079 yards) while Shonn Greene and rookie Bishop Sankey are expected to share the rushing duties. The defense is led by standout Jurrell Casey, who had 10.5 sacks last season, the second most in franchise history by a defensive tackle behind Ray Childress (13 in 1992).ABOUT THE CHIEFS (11-5, 2nd AFC West): Kansas City features one of the top running backs in the NFL in Jamaal Charles, who led the AFC with 1,287 rushing last season and scored 19 touchdowns (12 rushing, seven receiving). Smith is 30-9-1 as a starter since the beginning of the 2011 campaign and has thrown 53 touchdowns against 17 interceptions during that span. Linebackers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston each had 11 sacks last season and the former has 46.5 over the past four seasons, second-most in the AFC behind Robert Mathis of the Colts.EXTRA POINTS1. The Chiefs recorded a 26-17 win at Tennessee last season as Charles rushed for 108 yards and a touchdown.2. Tennessee RB Dexter McCluster spent the past four years with Kansas City and had three punt returns for touchdowns.3. Kansas City WR Dwayne Bowe is suspended for the opener after violating the league's substance-abuse policy.PREDICTION: Chiefs 24, Titans 20
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