'Play our best:' Brady brushes off controversy, focuses on Titans


Asked if expected to return to coach New England next season, the famously taciturn Belichick responded with one word - "Absolutely" - insisting he remained exclusively focused on the Titans. Rumors persist that Bill Belichick has a strained relationship with owner Robert Kraft and that this will be his last season with the team that has been so incredibly successful. Kickoff for their matchup is set for Saturday night at 8:15 p.m. EST. Since 2002, as Yahoo's Dan Wetzel writes, the Patriots are 9-0 in home Saturday night playoff games. Tom Brady has a 6-1 career record against the Titans, throwing for 13 TDs and one interception. The Titans didn't abandon the run, though. This is Mariota's second start.

We said after he suffered a third-degree tear in his right MCL that he would not play even if the Titans made the wild card round.

However, it's not just mobile quarterbacks who have posed problems for the Patriots when it comes to scrambling. "I treat it like a normal game, just probably amp it up a little bit".

The turnover differential can often decide football games.

Derrick Henry gets stronger the more he carries the ball, and it looks like he's going to be carrying it a lot for the Titans going forward. But the Patriots have to keep that overbearing pass rush off Brady's back. Linebacker Wesley Woodyard had a career year, according to Belichick. Meanwhile, Matt Ryan - nine years older than his opponent Jared Goff - is fresh off a Super Bowl run and now sports the second-highest postseason passer rating in National Football League history (among QBs with at least 250 pass attempts).

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Brach, 31, had a 3.18 ERA while picking up in 18 saves in place of Britton last season. In 2016, he had a 0.54 ERA and converted all 47 of his save opportunities.

With Belichick as head coach, he and LeBeau have faced off in the playoffs once: the 2004 AFC championship game that New England won in Pittsburgh, 41- 27. Dion Lewis is another talented receiving-back for the Pats. The Titans' defense was the worst unit this year at defending pass-catching.

That's unlikely, however, and that's part of why Big Ben wants this rematch. 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. And according to NESN, 10 of those have come in fourth quarters, six in the final two minutes of games. Henry's monster game included a 35-yard touchdown run that helped the Titans close the gap and eventually beat the Chiefs. The Patriots were off last week after clinching the #1 seed in the AFC, but there was still news out of the Northeast. However, in this game, he needs to be not only solid on the field but solid in what information he can provide for his team.

Here are three Titans who could have the most impact on the game. Reliable for this Tennessee offense.

OK, slowing down Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has been a hopeless effort for most teams. He knows exactly where and how to locate Rob Gronkowski, when to find his quartet of running backs out of the backfield, or when to take a shot deep to Brandin Cooks. He will most likely draw lots of coverage from safety Patrick Chung, who has had success against tight ends this season.

The Patriots had the NFL's 20th-ranked rush defense during the regular season, allowing a 100-yard rusher four times.