Tom Brady says playoffs are about execution, not experience

13 Enero, 2018, 05:10 | Author: Thomas Hicks
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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.

Down by 21-3 at half time, the Titans looked buried. So Mariota will have to throw a clean game Saturday for the Titans to have a chance. The Jaguars ranked first stopping the pass, but 21st against the run. Murray might play this week, but Henry's is clearly featured back now.

Henry: "I got more in the flow of the game".

The Patriots have had a week off to prepare.

Derrick Henry will start his third straight game at running back. The team relied on Dion Lewis and the ground game.

The Titans enter the game as big underdogs against one of football's established superpowers.

Elsewhere on the Patriots' injury report, No. 3 defensive tackle Alan Branch (knee), running back Rex Burkhead (knee), linebacker Marquis Flowers (illness), running back Mike Gillislee (knee), defensive end Eric Lee (ankle/finger) and top "passing back" James White (ankle) are all listed as questionable.

Now the stakes get higher for the inexperienced Titans, but that doesn't mean they don't have personnel that can cause some problems. Cleveland swept the Pacers in the first round of the playoffs past year even with George and former All-Star Jeff Teague. In that one, Tennessee had three turnovers but was outgained by only 54 yards. The Pats are averaging almost 400 yards per game and 30 points at home. The Titans haven't won at New England since 1993 and have covered just one of their past five there.

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You know what? I don't care who they are, or what they think, and I never will. This will actually be Tennessee's sixth contest over the last nine that has not been at home.

New England's wide receivers have taken a ton of criticism in recent weeks for their lack of production. However, with all of the distractions surrounding the Robert Kraft, Tom Brady, and Bill Belichick saga it'll be interesting to see whether or not that is a discussion point this weekend and if it impacts the outcome of the game, and while it is highly unlikely that it will as the Pats have dominated against the number in the playoffs, it will certainly be in the back of the mind of the Titans and they will hopefully try to use any of that to their advantage.

And they'll need Bill Belichick, the best defensive mind in history, to misfire on cooking up some intense scheme to slow Mariota (good luck with that, too). "I think that's kind of been the mindset through this entire season".

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. Sure there are. Some players, even with the end-game success they achieve under his watch, find the journey to success joyless under the heavy-handed thumb of Belichick. The Chiefs weren't much better, but we should expect an uptick for the Titans offense here. 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.

We probably don't give enough credit to the Titans' defense, probably because they don't have the name-brand stars that everyone knows. Just two of Tennessee's last eight opponents managed more than 100 rushing yards while the team held three other squads to less than 200 through the air.

Quarterback Matt Ryan is adamant that the Falcons, who finished the regular season 10-6, have the ability to upset the No.1 seeded Eagles. A frustrated one for much of the season, as his opportunities have been limited.

Just six months after trading four-time All-Star Paul George to Oklahoma City - setting up what many believed would be a long rebuilding process - new president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard has transformed the Pacers virtually overnight. Dick LeBeau's defenses have done a good job against the run throughout his Hall of Fame career. "We want to make noise while we're here".

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