Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Brady bullish in focus on Titans

Brady bullish in focus on Titans

Believe every morsel of what was reported in that article and you might be seduced into believing the Patriots have as good a chance of defending their Super Bowl title (which would be their sixth in 17 years) as the Titans - 13 ¹/₂-point underdogs - do of upsetting them Saturday night in a divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium.

The 9-7 Titans do not possess a profile befitting a team among the final eight National Football League teams left standing, and they appear especially overmatched when compared to the 13-3 Patriots.

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Marcus Mariota for the Titans. He showed his mobility and his guts in some of those runs and also had the key block on the play that resulted in a first down and sealed the victory. How many teams are left in the playoffs?

Similar to LeGarrette Blount, the 247-pound Henry is hard to deal with if he gets to the second level with momentum.

The Patriots have had a week off to prepare. They're just looking to run.

"In 18 years I have never celebrated when a player was traded or cut,". Tom Brady (above, right) didn't close out the season well especially if you owned him in fantasy football.

"When you're lucky enough to have someone exceptional, you let them do their job and you get out of the way,". But whether it will be Dion Lewis, Rex Burkhead or James White is anyone's guess, given coach Bill Belichick's penchant for switching RBs.

"We did beat them the first time, so to have all the confidence coming out of there is interesting", Jaguars DT Malik Jackson says. Kevin Byard and the Titans defense will need to slow him down to keep their season alive. In that one, Tennessee had three turnovers but was outgained by only 54 yards.

During Brady's tenure the Patriots are 6-1 against the Titans. In addition, if he registers a 100-yard receiving game, Gronkowski will join Jackson and as the only tight ends with four such games in the playoffs. The Titans have covered just 12 times in their last 37 games against the rest of the AFC.

"I think the main thing is we know how teams are trying to attack us because they'll look at the success that other mobile quarterbacks might have had against us", Patriots safety Duron Harmon said. New England's pass-catching running backs could prosper too. On the positive side, there is something to be said about the momentum that the Titans have after the surprise win and the fact that no one is picking them.

Brady also commented on how the Patriots have been able to tune out the noise created by stories such as the ESPN report that suggested this could be the final year together for the him, Belichick and Kraft.

I think Kelce is a little more finesse than Gronk.

DeMarco Murray already has been declared out for a third straight game for Tennessee, leaving the backfield to Henry. So if the ball gets tipped or overthrown or deflected or things like that when you're around it, you have a better chance to get it. It could be any of Eric Decker, Delanie Walker and Rishard Matthews who benefit. Brady has 13 passing touchdowns and one interception in those games.

But this is New England. Derrick Henry, listed at 247 pounds, is one of the biggest backs in the NFL.

"We spotted those a-holes a day and a half", Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said of the Patriots in the infamous Facebook Live video shot in the locker room after the win over the Chiefs. As a former Patriot, he might have an inside scoop on how to play against that offense. This contest screams of a game dominated by Rob Gronkowski, who eats up the middle of the field against mediocre linebackers.

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