Kickoff to Patriots vs. Titans playoff game just hours away



After the Titans took a 7-0 first-quarter lead that led to some uneasiness amongst the locals freezing in the stands, Brady led the Patriots to 35 unanswered points and shredded what was a pretty good Tennessee defense along the way.

Brady, Belichick and Kraft released a joint statement this weekend dismissing as "flat-out inaccurate" an ESPN report detailing an array of tension in New England between the triumphant triumvirate responsible for decorating team headquarters with five championship trophies.

That, of course, is an National Football League record, among a few he either set or re-wrote Saturday night - such as throwing for three touchdown passes for the 10th time in a postseason game and throwing for more than 300 yards for the 13th time in a postseason game.

Lewis had a combined 105 rushing and receiving yards in the first half of Saturday night's AFC Divisional Round playoff game against the Tennessee Titans. In 2015, ESPN reported that some teams took to emptying out garbage cans at team hotels because they're anxious about the Patriots digging through them for information.

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The defending Super Bowl champions expect Mariota to test them with his legs. "It doesn't really matter what happened outside of this facility and what we're trying to accomplish", he said. "Our guys did a real good job of kind of keeping their foot on the gas and keep pressing it".

On paper this looks like a mismatch and it will probably look like that on the turf in New England. The NFL playoffs usually mean the New England Patriots, who are in the postseason for a record-tying ninth consecutive year.

Coach Mike Mularkey said after the game his quarterback strained a quadriceps in the first quarter. "Marcus was hampered. Tough to get away".

Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota produced a performance for the ages while leading the Titans to a stunning 22-21 upset win over Kansas City in a wild card playoff game last week. He carried 15 times for 62 yards and caught nine of the 10 balls thrown his way for another 79 yards.

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Here are five takeaways from the New England Patriots' 35-14 win over the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium on Saturday. James White caught a touchdown pass and ran for another, and Danny Amendola had 11 catches for 112 yards.

New England is the -175 favourite to win the AFC title again with Tennessee at +1800. Meanwhile, Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers will try to get to the conference championship for the second straight year.

"We have a lot of areas to improve", Mariota said. New England set a franchise playoff record with eight sacks against Tennessee, including two each by Deatrich Wise and Geneo Grissom. Chris Hogan, who missed seven of the final eight regular-season games with a shoulder injury, beat Tye Smith across the end zone before Brady found him to extend the lead to 21-7 at the half.

"They won the Super Bowl and I was like, 'I'm going to see that banner.' So I got a season ticket", she added. "We acconmodated them with a lot of mistakes".

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Defensively, the Titans were every bit as strong against the run this season as they were the previous year. "So, we know we're going to have to be ready to fix the mistakes that we might have had against those mobile quarterbacks".

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