Patriots Playoffs: Protecting Brady from Tennessee's pass rush

Danny Amendola

Credit John Wilcox Danny Amendola

Safety Duron Harmon and his buddies on the New England defense know they have to deal with Marcus Mariota's "unique skill" set when the Tennessee Titans visit the Patriots for Saturday night's AFC divisional playoff game. The Patriots are easily the biggest Sports Interaction betting favourites of the weekend. There's going to be times that that happens.

The Titans have three players who once played for New England: starting right guard Josh Kline, cornerback Logan Ryan and backup quarterback Matt Cassel. They need to score touchdowns early to avoid a blowout loss, because the Patriots rarely lose leads and they won't succumb to the pressure and collapse like Kansas City did last week.

To nose tackle Austin Johnson, a Galloway Township native, and the rest of the Tennessee Titans, it's just another game.

But the Chiefs are not the Patriots, a team that has spent multiple times in the postseason.

Not to be outdone, New England's defense put together a performance for the ages. Mariota threw two touchdown passes - one to himself - and helped the Titans erase a 21-3 halftime deficit in the game. In total, Marcus Mariota was sacked seven times.

"At first glance, it (was) OK", Mariota said of his season.

They were downright dominant in a divisional round victory, smoking the Titans 35-14.

Lenovo Smart Display Is the Perfect Digital Assistant
Google representatives also made a lot of cameos at various manufacturers' keynote events at the currently-ongoing CES 2018 show. The new product is a slab-shaped device with speaker grilles on the left side and an 8-inch or 10-inch display on the right.

Mary J. Blige - 'Bounce Back 2.0'
The hip-hop crooner received the 2,626th star on the Boulevard during a ceremony that was emceed by Sean " Diddy " Combs. The nine-time Grammy Award-winning artist celebrated her 47th birthday with her biggest gift being her star.

University of Rochester President Resigns Amid Sexual Misconduct Report
The complaint claimed Jaeger created a "hostile environment" and allegedly sent unwanted pictures and tried to sleep with students at parties.

Just about everything New England did Saturday worked, with little counter from Tennessee.

Mularkey said Wednesday that Murray is not close enough to play Saturday night in New England.

The Patriots removed Hogan from the injury report, and he will play for the first time since December 11, when he caught one pass for one yard in a 27-20 loss to the Dolphins.

Playing in his first game since December 11 and just his second since Week 8 in October, Chris Hogan had only one catch, but it went for a touchdown that gave the Patriots a 21-7 lead at halftime.

It was a stunning choke job for the Chiefs considering how dominant they were in the first half.

McNair did his best to lead the Titans back on the following drive, getting to New England's 33-yard line. Now, some of those are plays where Tom simply chose to take the sack, but that number still seems very large when you consider that he was sacked just 15 times in 12 regular season games last season. Leads NFL with 43 rush TDs & ranks 2nd in league with 5,614 rush yards since 2013.

Could this be the last run for this Patriots group? ESPN published an article on how there is turmoil at the top of the dynasty between owner Robert Kraft, head coach Bill Belichick, and star quarterback Tom Brady. He's Brady's go-to receiver these days and the Titans know this. He's been far more effective than DeMarco Murray for most of the season, and now that he's in the featured role, the Titans can better employ their smash-mouth style and have a better chance of winning.

Latest News