Titans QB Marcus Mariota Reflects on Loss, and Season

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Playoff heroes new and old minted their names in Patriots postseason lore.

The Patriots' victory came on the heels of a week filled with reports of turmoil involving Brady, Coach Bill Belichick and the team's owner, Robert Kraft.

The 6-foot-4, 314-pound lineman started in three of the last four games of the season, including a 15-10 win over Jacksonville in the final game of the season.

While it all ended with Brady, it didn't exactly begin there. The Tennessee Titans will surely try to do just that on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.

For the third game in a row, the Tennessee Titans will be without starting running back DeMarco Murray because of a knee injury.

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Ultimately, Lewis was ruled down by contact after a 31-yard gain.

How could there be shakiness found in Brady, the reigning Super Bowl MVP, the heavy favourite to be named MVP of this season, the lodestone of a dynasty creeping towards the completion of its second decade?

New England fell behind 7-0 after the team's first two offensive drives failed to produce points.

The Patriots have had their troubles with mobile quarterbacks this season - and there have even been not-so-mobile quarterbacks that have picked up yards on the ground against the defending champions. If anything, that sort of stuff would come from Tennessee GM Jon Robinson, who came up through New England's front office.

The Patriots are rested after securing a first-round bye.

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Coming off its 28-point embarrassing loss to the Timberwolves, the 34-point loss to Toronto was even worse. Sabonis started in place of Myles Turner , who missed his second consecutive game with a sore right elbow.

Hogan missed seven of the final eight games of the regular season with a shoulder injury, which he suffered against the Los Angeles Chargers on October 29. From then on, New England unleashed hell. This debut couldn't have gone any better; Gilmore pitched a shutout. They completed 59 passes for 20 yards or more, and added another 10 running plays of 20 yards or more.

A dejected Marcus Mariota stood at the podium on Saturday night, his ankles still taped, and disappointed etched on his face.

The Pats bested Tennessee 438-267 in total yards. Fellow rookie Adam Butler also had a sack, while Trey Flowers, Marquis Flowers, Ricky Jean Francois and Geneo Grissom (twice) also brought Mariota down behind the line of scrimmage.

The Titans, who entered the postseason with a negative point-differential of minus-22, looked the part from the second quarter on.

Many factors go into postseason success in the NFL: Relative experience, preparation, weather, and a simple bounce of an oblong ball, just to name a few.

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Brandon Bolden managed to score with a two-yard touchdown for a three-score lead in the third quarter. Only two players in National Football League history have more receiving touchdowns in the playoffs: Jerry Rice with 22 and John Stallworth with 12. It'd be stunning to see the Patriots lose, considering New England has been favored to win the 2018 Super Bowl for just about the whole season.

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