After pulling off one of the most miraculous comebacks in NFL Playoff history, the Titans will head north to Foxborough to face the number one seeded New England Patriots.
NFL fans usually cringe when they hear their team has to play the Patriots because of how dominant they have been for so long, but the Titans and their fans believe an upset is brewing. Here’s how the Titans can do it.
The Titans must get after Tom Brady this Saturday if they want any chance at all against the mighty Patriots. Certainly, this is easier said than done. There are not many teams that beat the Patriots from year to year, but when they do they all seem to be pressuring Brady in some way.
This year, the Patriots lost to the Chiefs, Panthers, and Dolphins. Brady was sacked three times against the Chiefs and Panthers and twice against the Dolphins. More notably, the Patriots won a game versus the Texans in the last seconds 36-33 where Brady was sacked five times. This is not to mention how much he was hurried and knocked down in these games.
Tom Brady is one of if not the greatest quarterback of all time for a reason. He does not take unnecessary hits. He is not very mobile at forty years old, and he knows that. Therefore, he is guaranteed to have the ball out quick or have it thrown away before he can take any damaging hits.
Players such as Brian Orakpo, Jurrell Casey, and Derrick Morgan must disrupt the line of scrimmage and pressure Brady if the Titans are to have any chance Saturday.
What is more difficult than stopping Tom Brady? Most people would say nothing; however, he has an absolute monster to throw to at tight end that gives NFL teams nightmares. Rob Gronkowski had yet another Pro Bowl year with sixty-nine catches for 1084 yards and eight touchdowns. He is a matchup nightmare at six feet, six inches and 265 pounds.
The Titans faced a smaller version of Gronk last week in Travis Kelce, and he was destroying Tennessee’s defense until he was knocked out of the game by Johnathan Cyprien. This is not to say the Titans need to injure Gronk, but someone must get physical with him whether that be Cyprien, Kevin Byard, or Wesley Woodyard.
Here is what Tennessee is up against in Gronk.
Gronk shows of his super human abilities on this ridiculous 17 yard touchdown grab! The #Pats and #Bills are in a good one here, as the score is tied 10-10. The #Pats are now 8.5-point home favorites. #GoPats #BUFvsNE #NFL
— Bovada Official (@BovadaLV) December 24, 2017
The Titans must somehow contain number eighty-seven. If not, look for Tennessee to be in for a long day.
Last week, the Titans came out of the gates extremely slow against the Chiefs by facing a 21-3 deficit at halftime. They simply cannot afford to do that this week. The Patriots are great at coming back from deficits, but they rarely give up a lead.
If the Titans offense can get clicking early and put some points on the board, watch out for an upset.
Kickoff is set for 8:15 Eastern Time on CBS this Saturday night.