New England has won about a million Super Bowls and the Tennessee Titans have a big task ahead to go into New England and try to dispatch of the Patriots this weekend in the American Football Conference (AFC) wildcard playoffs. The last time the Patriots lost a playoff game at home was to the Baltimore Ravens in the 2012 AFC Championship Game.
So what’s different about this game? There are a lot of Titan-Patriot connections starting with head coach Mike Vrabel who played for the Patriots. I don’t know if that makes a difference but there is a lot of familiarity there and how the mind of Bill Bellicheck works.
The Patriots haven’t really been as dominant this year and they have relied a lot on their defense to win. The Titans need to continue to do what they do best with running the ball with Derrick Henry and setting up the play-action pass that Ryan Tanneyhill has done so well this season. If the defense can put pressure on Tom Brady, there is a chance to get this one. Pressure on Brady is the key or else he could feast on the poor pass defense of the Titans. The Titans are 24th in the league in pass defense.
It’s hard to judge this game. Yes, the Titans won last week but they basically beat up on the Houston Texans’ JV team to get into the playoffs.
Here is how the teams rank in the NFL Stats:
Total Offense: Titans (12th), Patriots (15th)
Passing: Patriots (8th), Titans (21st)
Rushing: Titans (3rd), Patriots (18th)
Total Defense: Patriots (1st), Titans (21st)
Against Pass: Patriots (2nd), Titans (24th)
Here’s another wildcard for this wildcard game – the weather.
The forecast currently calls for light rain throughout the day, but then could turn into a heavier snow/rain mix with winds blowing at around 10 to 15 mph. The low is set for 33 degrees.
And do you know what they are calling this weather system? Weather Storm Henry
The running back Henry comes into the game after rushing for 211 yards on 6.59 yards per carry against the Houston Texans in Week 17. The 2019 NFL rushing champion has been a powerhouse for the Titans, but he has particularly come on strong late. Over his past seven games, Henry has rushed for 959 yards on 6.3 yards per carry and 11 touchdowns. His success against a Patriots defense that has struggled against the run at times during the regular season will be the key if the Titans have a chance to dethrone the mighty Patriots.