Patriots thrash Titans 35-14, advance to AFC title game

If they can pull it off, it will be harder for Brady to find an open receiver in whatever time he has to make a throw.

Mariota hasn't had a great year and it can be argued that the Titans reached the playoffs in-spite of his play.

This is when Tom Brady is at his best. The postseason monster that is the New England Patriots will nearly assuredly win their first playoff game of the year. So I don't really care if it was Joe Montana.

It had all looked so good for the Titans when Marcus Mariota found Corey Davis in the end zone; his one-handed diving catch capping an 11-play, 95-yard drive in the first quarter. The Patriots were able to get the ball back again, and they got into deep field goal range.

Mariota had a tough night as he could only watch the best quarterback in his era in Brady.

He said he walked off the field feeling "embarrassed" a week after leading his team back from 18 points down against Kansas City. Brady is 40 and he is in the twilight of his future Hall of Fame career. "This team has done such a good job this year, focusing on what we need to".

Dion Lewis tacked on 24 touches and compiled 141 yards from scrimmage, while the seldom-seen Brandon Bolden joined the party with a two-yard touchdown run to give the Patriots a three-score lead in the third quarter. Entering the fourth quarter, Tennessee had just as many penalties (nine) as first downs. Quarterback Tom Brady produced another strong regular season, throwing for 4,577 yards with 32 touchdown passes and eight interceptions, earning selection to the AP's All-Pro first team. It was his 26th career playoff victory (which is more than all but three National Football League franchises not named the Patriots), and Brady became the oldest QB in National Football League history to win a postseason game. Many on Twitter and around the internet want to claim that the referees helped to get the Patriots the Divisional Round win over the Titans, but they could not be more wrong. Thus, they should come in as loose as possible and play that way too.

"That's their passing game", Titans coach Mike Mularkey said. "You can't hurt yourself".

Tennessee did not get past its own 39 on four second-half possessions before scoring a meaningless touchdown on an 11-yard pass to Davis with 1:55 left.

The Titans, who haven't won a postseason game since 2003, are not ready to wave the white flag. "As we saw, there were several times when he had guys breathing right down on top of him, standing right there when he was catching the ball, so it just put a little more pressure on it".

Next week, the Patriots take on either the Jacksonville Jaguars or Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Patriots had no such problems in their 35-14 victory over the Titans.

But ESPN's bombshell report on the power struggle in New England was apparently substantiated, unexaggerated, and accurate enough, because Brady, Belichick, and Kraft have already planned a meeting created to address tension between the three Patriots musketeers, according to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport. "They're a team that's been here before, and they didn't blink an eye". The Titans were limited to 61.

  • Julie Sanders