Tennessee Titans (10-7) at New England Patriots (13-3)
Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET on CBS
On paper this looks like a mismatch and it will probably look like that on the turf in New England. But I do think the Titans have some chance in this game. So let’s take a look.
Can the Titans run the ball?
Titans running back Derrick Henry has amassed 308 total yards and two scores, including two back-breaking plays versus Jacksonville, to seal a playoff bid; and again last week versus Kansas City, to seal a playoff win. With DeMarco Murray out the whole load falls on Henry’s shoulders again. Without a big game from Henry the Titans chances are almost gone. Quarterback Marcus Mariota will have to be able to move the ball on the ground with his feet and will have to play the game of his life to give the Titans a chance to win.
Stopping Tom Brady?
Okay, this should probably say contain Tom Brady, not stop him, as nobody can stop Brady. The best shot to stop him would be to get turnovers but the problem is that the Titans only acquired 21 turnovers during the season and will have step up their defensive effort tremendously get them against an all-time great like Brady.
Bill Belichick against Mike Mularkey is an unfair advantage, but then again Belichick against almost any NFL coach is an unfair fight.
Prediction: The Titans recipe to win has to be Henry running for 150-200 yards and quarterback Marcus Mariota making some big plays, especially if he can get the Titans into the red zone. But in the end there is no doubt how this game ends up. What I see is an unhappy ending for the Titans.
Patriots 37 Titans 17
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