This is it!
You win, you move on.
You lose, your season ends.
The New England Patriots will play on wildcard weekend for the first time since January of 2010. In that game, Tom Brady turned the ball over 4 times and suffered a 33-14 loss to Baltimore. That was Tom Brady’s worst postseason loss at home in his career. New England squandered a great opportunity to earn a first-round bye last week but will now have to put that behind them and focus on Tennessee.
Let’s get to know the Tennessee Titans and what to expect on Saturday night.
Running the ball has been a strength of the Titans all season. Derrick Henry rushed for 1,540 yards in the regular season, up near the top of the league. Henry is most powerful down in the RedZone and has excellent agility. Derrick is considered a “power back” and he lives up to that by breaking tackles. Former Patriot, Dion Lewis has had less playing time because of this. Lewis is used more in the passing game, as he creates big plays downfield. Very similar to James White, Dion has elite speed when he catches the ball. Tennessee’s offensive line is considered one of the best in the NFL when running the football. Taylor Lewan anchors the line and plays with tons of energy. Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill has had plenty of time to look for open receivers in the passing game of late. Corey Davis and Adam Humphries are Ryan’s main targets downfield. Like a lot of NFL teams, play-action plays are key in getting first downs and getting in the end zone. Having a great running game has taken the pressure off of Tannehill and puts the pressure of opposing defenses.
Defensively, the Titans are in the top 10 in points allowed at 25.1 points per game. Tennessee’s Defense is 3rd in stopping the run, as there front 7 is exceptional. Jurrell Casey and DaQuan Jones apply pressure in the running game but can also make a quarterback’s day miserable. Also, former Patriot, Logan Ryan has played the slot corner spot all season and will be matched up against Julian Edelman throughout the game. Adoree’ Jackson will play the other corner spot. Jackson is physical at the line of scrimmage. Linebackers Reashaan Evans and Jayon Brown cause problems in the passing game by sitting back in coverage and moving around before the snap of the ball. Wesley Woodyard subs in on 3rd downs as a Linebacker and is an excellent tackler. Be sure to watch the game at 8:15 PM on Saturday on CBS.
–Robert Marcello is a Staff Writer for Full Press Coverage and covers the New England Patriots Follow him on Twitter @RobertMarcello5