Patriots back in AFC title game, Titans trip into offseason


Patriots back in AFC title game, Titans trip into offseason

HEISMAN BROTHERS: Mariota, the 2014 Heisman victor, and Derrick Henry, the 2015 Heisman victor, combined to turn in the best rushing performance in franchise history in the wild-card round. That's what made the 2015 Heisman Trophy victor calling his performance "kind of soft" in Tennessee's regular-season finale stand out. Yet the Falcons went into the Coliseum and took firm control of the game from start to finish, largely because only six players on the Rams roster had playoff experience of any kind.

Getting Henry to acknowledge any change in his own confidence or being pleased after a big game is as tough as tackling him in the open field. The Titans haven't won at New England since 1993 and have covered just one of their past five there.

The biggest surprise of Wild-Card Weekend was sixth-seeded Tennessee (10-7 SU, 9-7-1 ATS) as an 8.5-point underdog going to AFC West champion Kansas City and winning 22-21 despite trailing 21-3 midway through the third quarter. He topped the previous mark set by Billy Cannon in January 1961 with the best performance by a running back in the playoffs in at least a decade.

Tom Brady passed for three touchdowns and 337 yards and New England cruised past Tennessee 35-14 on Saturday night to advance to their seventh successive conference title game. Belichick said everyone on defense has to do his job. "It's been a good year for me, but I'm obviously not comfortable where I'm at", Johnson said. He's fast, he can cut back, he can get to space. He's had a lot of success bouncing some runs.

Titans coach Mike Mularkey revealed after the game that Mariota suffered a strained quadriceps muscle in the first quarter. Tennessee had just 267 total yards of offense, with only 99 coming after halftime and 80 of those coming in a garbage-time final touchdown drive. "I think he saw that, and obviously he's a quick, fast learner". "He also has a run element to him, and the run game is very extensive".

Finishing is what the 6-foot-3, 247-pound Henry does best. Running back Derrick Henry punished Kansas City for 114 yards in the second half and ran for 156 yards in the game. Branch and White said they feel ready to go, while Burkhead had hinted he was in the same category.

"If it's a one-on-one tackling situation, it's extremely hard to get him down in that instance", Patricia said. He's played just one game since October 29 - a December 11 loss to the Dolphins - and he only caught one pass for one yard in that contest. With Murray injured, Henry was the workhorse against the Chiefs and will have to carry the load again in Foxborough since Murray has been ruled out. He says Ryan was present for the team meeting and the discussion of the game plan, but then left before the practice. "Throughout this entire season, we didn't play a complete game of football".