Titans' Henry looks to build on postseason debut against Patriots

Florence Fletcher
January 13, 2018

That number was out Monday and it has not budged 24 hours before Saturday's game. They were getting burned by Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce in the first half of last week's game, which changed dramatically when Kelce was injured just before half-time.

Johnson has a point: the Eagles still boast a fearsome running game and a deadly pass rush.

You won't like him when he's angry: Tom Brady's character was assaulted last week, which really isn't anything new to the Patriots' 40-year-old quarterback. So don't take her word for gospel. Just focused on the Titans.

Now at Saint Thomas Sports Park, the people who will have a hand in the outcome are the Titans players and coaches.

Tom Brady and the New England Patriots offense will be in a showdown against the Titans defense being led by defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau who was with the Steelers in the past. The former Heisman victor and second-year man has been marvelous filling in for DeMarco Murray.

Many media and fans alike are wondering if the issues touched on in the ESPN story - some rooted in the Jimmy Garoppolo trade and others in the relationship between Belichick and Brady as it relates to the quarterback's controversial body coach/business partner, Alex Guerrero - could have any sort of adverse impact on the latest Super Bowl run for the defending champions.

It was tied 14-all when wide receiver Derrick Mason caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Steve McNair. It was flawless, yet somehow the ball eluded Bennett's hands.

"Again, I think it's going to be about how we play and not necessarily where we're playing", he added. "It's a totally different coaching staff from there". But just as the Patriots have done when those and other debates have flared, Belichick has managed to put a lid on the emotions, and the Patriots have responded with brilliant seasons - a lot of them ending with Super Bowl rings.

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So fast forward to Saturday's game.

The Patriots have Coach Bill Belichick and his NFL-record 26 postseason wins. Belichick is 6-1 against the Titans.

The Tennessee Titans scratched and clawed their way to another week in the National Football League playoffs and now they get a rested and ready New England Patriots.

New England also will benefit from having a healthy Van Noy at its disposal. They are treating this game as a bye week. Quarterback Marcus Mariota didn't have a great season, so it's worth wondering if he'll succumb to the big stage if Henry can't help him with a big performance. He has to avoid interceptions and fumbles. It was Henry's third 100-yard game this season as he led the Titans during the regular season with 744 yards while splitting carries with DeMarco Murray. The Titans are one of the league's worst teams at defending tight ends (24th in DVOA) and running backs (32nd) in the passing game, and the Patriots just so happen to employ an All-Pro tight end in Rob Gronkowski and three unsafe pass-catching backs in Burkhead, White and Dion Lewis.

Why they'll win: Mariota plays like he did during the Titans' 18-point wild-card weekend comeback. They were 15 in rushing, 23 in passing. Kevin Byard and the Titans defense will need to slow him down to keep their season alive. By comparison, Mariota is 24 years old and has one playoff win.

"I have a great relationship with both Robert [Kraft, the Patriots owner] and Tom, and I would throw in there, since it was part of the article, I feel like I have a good relationship with Alex, too", Belichick told WEEI radio in his weekly interview on Monday. It's been that way for a long time.

The model also says there's value on the Titans money line (+650) since Tennessee is winning outright in 25 percent of simulations.

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