Sport

NFL Divisional Round: 10 fast facts for Patriots v Titans

Share
Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Mularkey

Titans running back DeMarco Murray will not play against the Patriots in the AFC Divisional Round playoff game on Saturday, as he'll miss his third straight game with a knee sprain.

In the meantime, the Tennessee Titans are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2008 when Kerry Collins was their quarterback. Admittedly, they stared down the barrels of Ben Roethlisberger, Jared Goff, and Russell Wilson this season, but the Titans defense doesn't exactly have opposing quarterbacks shaking in their cleats. "It's been addressed, and I'm full-speed ahead getting ready for New England with our staff". But what would be the challenge in that? He left with a sprained MCL in the second quarter of his lone other trip to Foxborough in December 2015, a game the Titans lost 33-16. So, sure, why not?

Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET, Gillette Stadium, TV: CBS, Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson (field reporter), Jay Feely (field reporter). The Patriots have won those games by a combined score of 172-78, or an average score of 29-13. The most seasoned signal caller in the league should carve up the Titans defense with a rested arm (as long as he stays away from Kevin Byard). "But it is always fun when you are playing football". A rookie at the time, Mariota took three sacks that afternoon while completing 3-of-6 passes for 36 yards.

"It's my job trying to help this team win games", Henry said.

That's right: The blocking of Tennessee's quarterback is part of how the Patriots could be upset Saturday.

Murray was "not close enough to play this week, but close enough to play next week", Mularkey said. He had run for 100-plus yards in a game twice before this season; he followed them up with a 13-yard-on-13-carries performance and an eight-carries-for-20-yards showing.

"Their red-zone defense is probably one of the tops in the NFL", Mariota said. They've made big stops on defense, made big kicks, so they've played well in critical situations. They do a lot of different things, whether it's their fronts, whether it's their schemes and their coverages. That's what we're working towards. "We've had a good week". But regardless, Cooks had collected only four fewer receptions than Gronkowski when the season ended and had only two fewer receiving yards than Brady's top pass-catcher.

Belichick touched on Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota's running style, while also adding that his touchdown pass to himself last weekend was a "tremendous" play. It was very encouraging to see that effort from Marcus Mariota who has been much maligned for a lot of the season.

So, the Patriots have been dealing with questions all week - as the Titans just prepare. Mularkey didn't wait to pick Ryan's brain for Patriots intel.

Asked if the statement has put his mind at ease, Mularkey said he's addressed the situation with his staff and won't talk about it anymore. But Mularkey does seem oddly, and coyly, confident in Tennessee's ability to predict how the Patriots will attack.

Titans coach Mike Mularkey wanted more support from the organization after leading the team to its first playoff win since the 2003 season, and on Sunday, he got it. "I'll say that, leave it at that". I'm expecting Harrison to come out hungry and have a monster game against the Titans. Derrick Henry looked capable of carrying a load in the backfield, potentially giving Tennessee a chance to control time of possession. He weighs more than both the Patriots starting inside linebackers, Kyle Van Noy and Elandon Roberts, and weighs almost as much as Eric Lee and Trey Flowers, whom the Patriots list as their starting defensive ends.

"He does a good job taking care of the ball, period", he said. But Brady against the Jets should have been a raucous fireworks show with the pop and sizzle to keep things cooking in the postseason.

Share