Auburn provides special-team standouts for Saturday night's Titans-Patriots playoff game

Auburn provides special-team standouts for Saturday night's Titans-Patriots playoff game

Auburn provides special-team standouts for Saturday night's Titans-Patriots playoff game

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - There may not be another game this year with as much coaching wisdom and firepower on opposite sidelines as when New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick squares off against Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau on Saturday.

Tennessee hasn't been to a conference championship game since the 2002 season, but has been invigorated coming off its first playoff win in 14 years.

To pull an upset, Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota must be at his best. Mariota also caught his own pass for a touchdown. DeMarco Murray is out with a knee injury, so Henry better stay healthy because the Titans' next three leading rushers are a quarterback, cornerback and wide receiver.

The Patriots have had a week off to prepare. The scary thing for opposing teams of the New England Patriots is that Brady actually seems to be getting better at the game as he ages-but how does he do it? Are you kidding me? She thinks Tom Brady was one of TV's Brady Bunch. The team relied on Dion Lewis and the ground game.

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Why they'll lose: Tom Brady is an ageless wonder who led the National Football League in passing yardage, and ranked both third in touchdowns and passer rating. Everyone has worked pretty hard to get to this point. LeBeau and the Pittsburgh Steelers won home-field advantage in 2004 by beating the Patriots 34-20 on October 31, then Belichick and New England won the AFC conference championship January 23, 2005, beating the Steelers 41-27.

"These are fun games to play in". And according to NESN, 10 of those have come in fourth quarters, six in the final two minutes of games. The Titans have covered just 12 times in their last 37 games against the rest of the AFC. "He has probably been in 50 playoff games, give or take, but we have a lot of confidence in him that he's going to put us in the right position", Morgan said. Road weariness could become a bit of an issue especially in another cold atmosphere in New England.

Prediction: The New England Patriots will bury the Tennessee Titans tonight, say, 34-20.

Maybe the Tennessee Titans are coming up for Tom Brady and the New England Patriots at the ideal time. This game against the Titans feels a lot like the 2011 playoffs when the Pats hosted the Tim Tebow-led Broncos in the divisional round. The Titans won in impressive fashion when they overcame a 21-3 deficit at halftime and outscored the Chiefs 19-0 after the half.

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It's got all the ingredients for a home win on Saturday night but Kansas City thought that last week, too, against these Titans. It's good. We just had a good practice week. Guys like Eric Decker and Corey Davis need to not only get open but catch the football. He has 13 passing touchdowns and one interception in those games - his best touchdown to interception ratio against any opponent in his career.

Both AFC South representatives are significant underdogs, the Titans at New England on Saturday night, the Jaguars at Pittsburgh on Sunday. With starting running back DeMarco Murray out with an injury, Henry played almost every snap and rushed for 156 yards and a TD on 23 carries and caught two balls for 35 yards. And that's scary, because according to Football Outsiders New England had the worst run defense in the NFL in rushes up the middle in 2017. The 26-year-old quietly has 13 regular-season and playoff picks in five years.

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.

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