April 24, 2018

Titans @ Patriots: NFL Divisional Playoffs Preview

14 January 2018, 06:01 | Opal Carroll

Titans OT Conklin tears ACL during loss to Patriots

Titans OT Conklin tears ACL during loss to Patriots

This is from someone who has never been to a Titans game. Watch out Tom Brady.

Frankly, there are a large number of people around town just like her, even hardcore Titans fans.

Other players who were limited in practice this week: defensive linemen Alan Branch (Knee) and Eric Lee (Ankle/ Finger), and wide receiver Chris Hogan (Shoulder). The victor of this game will play the victor of the Jaguars-Steelers game.

The last time these two teams met in the postseason came during the playoffs 14 years ago.

This weekend brings us the Divisional Round, where the remaining eight teams are vying for a spot in the AFC and NFC Championship games. The wind chill was 7 degrees short of zero. "I think that speaks volumes with him just wearing teams down". Not only was there a touchdown pass by Mariota to Mariota, but the QB also had a hell of a block that opened a lane for a 22-yard run by Derrick Henry.

On a fourth-and-12, McNair hit Drew Bennett from the Pats' 33-yard line in stride down the left sideline. I just did the celebration - I'd seen him do it a couple of times. He was an assistant coach on Jeff Fisher's staff that game.

The victor of this game earns the honor of being the sacrificial lamb for the Patriots in the AFC Championship game.

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So fast forward to Saturday's game. It's hard to envision any miraculous comebacks against a Bill Belichick-coached team. Belichick is 6-1 against the Titans. Pressuring Brady and winning one-on-ones on the outside will be pivotal if the Titans defense is going to have success against the New England offense and get them off the field.

With one daunting task comes another though as the Titans now head to Foxboro to take on the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. The largest spread ever in a Divisional Round game was previous year with New England -16.5 vs. Houston, and the Pats won 34-16.

"They've been to the playoffs a lot, great organization", Henry said of the Patriots. Demarco Murray has been ruled out, so a steady diet of Henry runs, plus Marcus Mariota quarterback runs will be essential for the Titans to move the ball and control time of possession. He has to avoid interceptions and fumbles.

After Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry rushed for 156 yards in a 22-21 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in the first round of the National Football League playoffs, the desire of some of the Chiefs, particularly cornerback Darrelle Revis, to tackle the 247-pounder was called into question. Running back Derrick Henry punished Kansas City for 114 yards in the second half and ran for 156 yards in the game.

"He does a good job of taking care of the ball, period", Belichick said of the No. 2 overall pick in 2015. Defensively the Titans ranked No. 13 in total defense, 4th against the run and 25 in pass defense.

This pits the oldest and youngest quarterbacks in the playoffs. From Spygate to Deflategate and everything in between, it seems the tough times only serve to further galvanize what's been an ironclad determination by Belichick and Brady to keep the good times rolling along.

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