There's no looking past the Titans for the Patriots

There's no looking past the Titans for the Patriots

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It's Divisional Weekend in the National Football League, and there are several pressing questions that will be answered in the games played Saturday and Sunday: Will the New England Patriots keep rolling despite reports in the media of unrest?

Quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick, as well as others, were forced to answer questions all week after ESPN reported that there was turmoil atop the organisation. Titans defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau said Brady is capable of picking teams apart if he knows what's coming. "They got a bye week, so they're probably feeling really confident".

"Nobody respects us. Nobody really expects a lot from us".

If we learned anything from last week, it is that the underdogs can not be underestimated. Have a look at the first clip in the video below and give us your thoughts in the comments. "We're hopeful to get that accomplished". They don't get along. On the other side, the Titans will again load up on Derrick Henry, who just had the best game of his career with 23 carries for 156 yards and a touchdown.

OK, slowing down Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has been a hopeless effort for most teams.

Now, in the divisional round of the playoffs, they'll face another in the Tennessee Titans' Marcus Mariota. I don't think that the story trickles down to the rest of the team, but it's at least a factor. "That was. first of all, that's a very, very hard play to make, and that shows you his skill set, his athletic ability - to be able to throw the ball, have it knocked down and be able to catch it where he caught it, and go in and run [on] a scoring dive, it shows his athletic ability". You've got to make the tackles, you've got to make the throws, the catches, the blocks, the runs, whatever it takes.

DeMarco Murray already has been declared out for a third straight game for Tennessee, leaving the backfield to Henry. This will actually be Tennessee's sixth contest over the last nine that has not been at home. Linebackers Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo lead the pass rush for Tennessee, with 7.5 and 7.0 sacks respectively.

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Rumours of an imminent Patriots demise have been far from a rarity during New England's seemingly endless period of dominance, but they have always quickly been forgotten once Bill Belichick's men have firmly reasserted their position as the superior power in the NFL.

Brady clinched the fifth Lombardi Trophy of his career last season, becoming the first quarterback to do so, as he led the New England Patriots to the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, guiding them back from 28-3 down to a 34-28 victory in Houston. Having discussed it during paid appearances on national broadcasts, Brady didn't get into details - but he did note that dealing with potential distractions is no big deal after so many seasons.

New England are hot favourites to beat Tennessee, but the Titans have the offense to make this game interesting as Neil Harvey explains.

Divisional round games continue on Sunday with the AFC North champion Pittsburgh Steelers (13-3), who like the Patriots and Eagles had a first-round bye, hosting AFC South victor Jacksonville Jaguars (11-6).

The respect between the two is mutual.

"Experienced" does seem more appropriate for coaches who have as much success as Belichick, 65, and LeBeau, 80.

But great teams thrive amid dysfunction and, regardless of how much substance there was to the reports of a breakdown in relations between Brady, Belichick and Kraft, the Patriots' on-field response will be expected to be emphatic, as it has so often been in the past. Regardless of the opponent, the win-or-go-home postseason is, as Belichick might say, what it is.

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