The Patriots, along with a good chunk of the best fan base in the NFL, are heading to Nashville this weekend to take on beloved Pats’ alumni turned Tennessee head coach Mike Vrabel and the Titans. There has been buzz that the New England faithful will have a big turnout this Sunday, as Nashville is a fun tourist destination and it is a long weekend.
Speaking of the long weekend. Don’t look at Monday as a day off. It is a day we get off to honor those who have served. Take some time to thank a family member, a friend, or even a neighbor you might not be very friendly with. They deserve our thanks…not just this weekend, but everyday for the sacrifices they made for all of us!
Here are 3 stats you need to know as Vrabel, Dion Lewis, Logan Ryan, and Super Bowl XLIX hero Malcolm Butler look to give it their all against Belichick Sunday:
Stat One: 110
The Titans are 18th in the NFL with 110.0 rushing ypg. The Boston media, as well as myself (idk what category you want to put me in) has seen this as underperforming a bit. There is potential for a lot of success in the run game with both Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis. Obviously Lewis is tremendous out of the backfield in the passing game, but both of those backs have the talent to do damage. Vrabel could be pulling a Belichick here and “saving” the plays they trust will work for important games like this matchup against the Pats and the playoffs, but so far it seems their game plan is to rely a little more on Mariota’s arm.
Stat Two: 30
The Pats are 4th in the NFL with exactly 30 points per game. This helps out the defense a lot. With the numbers they are putting up on offense, it challenges a team like Tennessee to have long drives, get six not three when they are in the redzone, and get three not punt when they cross midfield. It is a very weird league this year. The offense is crazy. One other thing to note is how much more potential the Patriots have on offense, with Gronk and Michel not playing recently and the chemistry not quite being where it needs to be just from the eye test with Edelman and Gordon, the sky’s the limit for what McDaniels could do.
Stat Three: 5.3
The Pats obviously took down the Titans at Gillette in the divisional round last season, but Mariota is someone that we have not seen a lot of. The former Oregon Duck has a completion percentage of 67% with 181.4 passing yards per game and 5 passing touchdowns. The Pats did a good job of holding Aaron Rodgers to just 8 rushing yards, as he is known to scramble when the pocket collapses. However, Mariota will be a tougher challenge. As a running threat as he averages 5.3 yards per carry, but only has 2 rushing TDs.
Let’s dedicate this one to all of the troops! Kickoff is in Nashville, TN Sunday at 1:00 p.m. on CBS and 98.5 The Sports Hub
-Johnny Maffei is a Staff Writer for Full Press Coverage Sports Media and covers the New England Patriots. Follow him on Twitter @johnnyBSBL4