That process resumes at Gillette Stadium in prime time, as the Patriots host a Titans team coming off a spectacular 22-21 comeback win over the Chiefs in Kansas City in last weekend's wild-card round. Running back James White led the team at the time.
The Odds: The Patriots are a week high 13.5 point favorite against the Titans. The Patriots are remarkably healthy and vastly more experienced all around, so they're probably going to blowout the Titans. Brady is 11-2 in 13 divisional-round games since 2002, passing for 3,700 yards and 28 touchdowns. They're good, as I said, in all three phases of the game. The 26-year-old quietly has 13 regular-season and playoff picks in five years.
"He's a man on a mission", receiver Corey Davis told reporters during the week. We don't have a lot of reservations about him from a physical health standpoint. "Some things haven't gone his way here and there. He just gets it done".
What makes Mariota potentially risky is his running ability. He wears down opponents with his power running style, as evidenced by him finishing second in the National Football League in fourth-quarter rushing yards. Expect Derrick Henry to get a bulk of the carries.
The Titans enter as 13-point underdog.
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The Titans were in the middle of the pack in terms of takeaways this season, with 12 interceptions and nine fumble recoveries. Despite continued conjecture about the state of the Patriots, there is a unified resolve now that it's nearly game time. Few teams beat Tom Brady in Foxborough; that'd be like Jim Kirk losing a fistfight on the Enterprise bridge. Yet the Falcons went into the Coliseum and took firm control of the game from start to finish, largely because only six players on the Rams roster had playoff experience of any kind. I really wouldn't know anything.
As the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs, New England had a bye in the first round.
It has been 26 years since Steve DeBerg outlasted Todd Marinovich in the ' 10-6 wild-card win over the Los Angeles Raiders on December 28, 1991. I wanted to help change something in the [defensive backs] room, change the culture.
"When it comes down to it, it's all about us", Mariota said. Johnson said. "Going from being a rotational guy and to starting and being the first person out there to get a feel of the game, it helps to get that first series, get a feel of it and assess what you've got from the drive". "They do a lot of things well". He is just a great coach.
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While Buffalo's postseason failures are well-documented, the team's opponent is in almost the same boat. The Buffalo Bills are 0-4 straight up and 1-3 against the spread over their last four playoff games.
During Brady's tenure the Patriots are 6-1 against the Titans. Stuff like that can affect a defense's confidence which is huge in a game like this.
LeBeau has an NFL-record 45 consecutive seasons as a coach, with Belichick at 43. Remember, the Patriots rank 20th in total run defense, surrendering 4.7 yards a rush, which slots them 31st in pro football. Chris Hogan will make his return to New England's lineup after missing seven of the final eight games with a shoulder injury. There is no stopping tight end Rob Gronkowski as long as Brady has time to throw the ball. "We'll bring him back in the building (Saturday) and continue with his game readiness". That includes a 33-16 victory at New England in 2015 in the clubs' latest meeting. "Coach has been doing this for a while and he knows what the potential distractions can be", Cooks said. "He just won't go away". He's a guy that's just passionate about it.
"I would say that's disappointing to hear that someone would express that, or a writer would express that, because it's so far from what my beliefs are about my teammates". "He still can play".
Devin McCourty (left) and the rest of the Patriots defense will have their hands full Saturday night against Titans dual-threat QB Marcus Mariota. Mobile quarterbacks have given the Patriots problems this season.
After days spent issuing joint statements and then he and Tom Brady making the rounds doing radio interviews to discredit and deny the contents of the January 5 story from ESPN detailing the supposed "internal power struggle in New England", Belichick declared he and his team were "all in" preparing for the Titans. Tennessee is better on defence than the Chiefs but not even close offensively.
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The Titans might have some intel of their own from cornerback Logan Ryan, a former Patriot whom Mike Mularkey jokingly admitted to interrogating about the team. The Titans didn't make the playoffs last season, but did this season.