New England Patriots: 3 Key players to beating Titans in Divisional Round

New England Patriots: 3 Key players to beating Titans in Divisional Round

Some were small (Tyrod Taylor), some were big (Ben Roethlisberger), some were Supermen (Cam Newton) and some were Saints (Drew Brees).

The Titans have a chance - yes, a slim one - but a chance nonetheless to pull off a shocking upset in Foxborough, Massachusetts, on Saturday night due to their third-year quarterback from Hawaii and what he means to his team.

And that means no one inside the football offices or locker room at Gillette Stadium will be taking the Titans lightly. Still, those two are tough to stop when they're using their legs as best they can. "In 18 years, I've never celebrated when someone has been traded, been cut", Brady said.

Roethlisberger is terrific at keeping his options open, and so is Brees. This is a different Titans defense than that one, of course, and it will fight. For New England it's just a matter of making this game a battle between two quarterbacks. They're not good enough yet. Despite all of the distractions around the team the past week, Bill Belichick will have them ready to play. It was a Saturday night game.

The Chiefs switched directions, changed up after their five wins and preceded to lose their next six of seven games, ending the season 10-6, and losing to the Tennessee Titans 22-21 Sunday, Game 1 of the playoffs, the very first round of the playoffs, the road to the Super Bowl next month, February.

Yet this is still a significant moment in his National Football League story. Will they step up and play a complete game or will they sit there and will they wait until they get down to start fighting once again? He doesn't throw with great accuracy, and he won't blow you away with passing yardage, but he will fight and scrap. The ball came back to Mariota, who grabbed it and scored a touchdown. And it caught the attention of the Patriots. "He's broken off a lot of long runs, running plays, screens". It's when he's on the move, with a multitude of threats to potentially exploit, when he is at his most deadly.

Ryan has been part of a Titans defensive back group that made tremendous improvements over the course of the year.

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Defensive captain Devin McCourty was asked about the ESPN article.

"It's hard to see [Brady] go to another level of intensity, because he's always intense", All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski said.

In trying to limit their own mistakes, the Patriots excel at forcing opponents into miscues of their own, especially at home.

Of course, if Tennessee can't defend the run itself, then forget the Titans staying in the game Saturday night. But they'll need more. Their sophomore running back Derrick Henry has overtaken running back DeMarco Murray's starting job while Murray has been out with a knee injury.

In his film study of the Titans' defense this week, Amendola took special notice of safety Kevin Byard, a second-year veteran from Middle Tennessee State who finished the season with 87 tackles (64 solo) and eight interceptions.

Get all of that, and who knows?

The Patriots would prefer to keep Mariota in the pocket and make him beat them with his arm. "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".

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