In the end, that was just too much to ask. The Patriots have the AGC's best record at 13-3 and will be hosting a Titans team who is 10-7 on the year but just 4-5 on the road this year.
Since 2001, quarterbacks making their first or second career playoff start are 0-7 against New England.
When the Titans review their performance, they'll be most disappointed they didn't take advantage of some of their strengths - things that might have helped spring an upset for the ages.
However, the Patriots' rush defense has not been reliable under coordinator Matt Patricia.
SUPER BOWL hero James White bagged a pair of touchdowns as New England eased past Tennessee on Saturday night. His return should be a nice boost to the Patriots' receiving corps, which has used the likes of Phillip Dorsett, Danny Amendola, and Kenny Britt alongside No. 1 target Brandin Cooks in Hogan's absence. New England ran the entire set up-tempo without huddling, gassing a Tennessee defense that had looked so stout in the first quarter. "It's a quick passing game". He was never sacked, releasing most of his pass attempts before any Titans got close to him.
Mariota grew up a bit for the Tennessee Titans last week.
The Titans were lucky not to be down 24-7 at the half as Stephen Gostkowski missed a 53-yard field goal as time expired, but unlike last week, there were no miracle comebacks on the cards in the second.
The Titans scored first as Marcus Mariota threw a flawless pass to Corey Davis, who made an incredible one-handed diving catch in the end zone to give the Titans a 7-0 lead with 1:14 remaining in the first quarter.
"We also, when we're man coverage or zone coverage, we've got to be able to play our zones or our man tight and not allow windows or not allow a great pocket for him to sit back there and throw, because he's a good enough passer that he'll make all the throws on the football field". "They're waiting on you to do it and we did". It's on them to make sure he fails. The largest spread ever in a Divisional Round game was a year ago with New England -16.5 vs. Houston, and the Pats won 34-16.
Hogan missed seven of the final eight games of the regular season with a shoulder injury, which he suffered against the Los Angeles Chargers on October 29. Tennessee had just 267 total yards of offense, with only 99 coming after halftime and 80 of those coming in a garbage-time final touchdown drive.
That said, the Titans still have their share of questions to address during the offseason. The first was an offensive pass interference call on Titans receiver Eric Decker that wiped out a Tennessee first down.
He can take solace in knowing that in 2018 he can focus on improvement rather than rehab for the first time since his rookie season.
The touchdown capped an 11-play, 95-yard drive as Mariota used his arms and legs to convert a pair of third downs. Murray followed with 659 yards and 6 touchdowns.
"Nobody respects us. Nobody really expects a lot from us".
"These are fun games to play in".
Defensively, the Titans were every bit as strong against the run this season as they were the previous year. Not only was there a touchdown pass by Mariota to Mariota, but the QB also had a hell of a block that opened a lane for a 22-yard run by Derrick Henry. Or you can catch all the action on NFL Gamepass. The lone loss came December 16, 2002, which was his second season as a starter.
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