April 23, 2018

Maurice Jones-Drew: Titans will beat Patriots because of Derrick Henry

14 January 2018, 11:59 | Joan Schultz

Maurice Jones-Drew: Titans will beat Patriots because of Derrick Henry

Maurice Jones-Drew: Titans will beat Patriots because of Derrick Henry

New England is favored by 131/2 points.

Before last week's victory over Kansas City, it had been nine consecutive seasons since the Tennessee Titans made an appearance in the National Football League playoffs.

The Patriots have Coach Bill Belichick and his NFL-record 26 postseason wins.

The Titans finished the regular season 9-7. "But, you know, he's a very strong-armed quarterback, he can extend plays, he can scramble to run or he can get out of trouble and then find his receivers downfield".

But should we dismiss Tennessee so quickly? Henry scored the game-winning touchdown versus Jacksonville two weeks ago to clinch a playoff spot for the Titans. Granted, he makes each upcoming opponent seem like the 1960s Green Bay Packers.

No matter where they were from, Patriots fans were confident they'll see Tom and the boys advance to their record seventh straight AFC title game. For the Tennessee Titans, this year's trip was even more hard than usual.

They beat rookie Deshaun Watson and the Texans, but Houston scored 33 points and Watson gained 41 yards on the ground. So did Kansas City's Alex Smith, though Smith didn't hurt them with his legs. Yeah, the Titans can play.

Patriots punter Ryan Allen, from West Salem High, averaged 42.3 yards (37.3 net) on punt kicks, putting two inside the 20-yard line and one in the end zone for a touchback.

Both men are former University of OR football stars, and Turner has worked with numerous top running backs during his lengthy coaching career. Linebackers Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo lead the pass rush for Tennessee, with 7.5 and 7.0 sacks respectively.

The Titans head into Saturday's AFC divisional playoff game against the Patriots as 13.5-point underdogs. New England isn't great against the run though.

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We remember the 2007 Giants for their upset of the undefeated Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. I think there is a reality of playing in these games - you need to go out and you need to earn it. In this game that's Gronk. Dion Lewis is another talented receiving-back for the Pats. He gained more yards running than throwing vs. Buffalo in the wild-card round.

The Titans and Patriots Kickoff at 5:15 pm Pacific Time Saturday on CBS.

Of the Patriots being 13 ¹/₂-point favorites to win, Lewan said: "I don't give two [expletive] one way or the other".

Davis flew all the way from Anchorage, Alaska, to be at the AFC divisional game Saturday night.

The Patriots are the kings of blocking out the noise. The Eagles last made the Super Bowl in the 2004 season, losing to New England. They don't get along.

According to ESPN, which cited unnamed sources, Belichick was furious and demoralized when Kraft sided with Brady on the decision to trade Garoppolo, who won all five starts with the 49ers.

The Titans scored first as Marcus Mariota threw a ideal pass to Corey Davis, who made an incredible one-handed diving catch in the end zone to give the Titans a 7-0 lead with 1:14 remaining in the first quarter.

I have under-rated this man's effect on this team, this year, but no more. They've all denied there's a rift, which is what you would expect them to do.

Said Belichick: "Coach LeBeau is as good as there is, as good a defensive coach as there is". While Patriots officials denied the friction, it was clearly a distraction. "We won some games, but I didn't play probably at the level I wanted to throughout the year, but that happens, and I have to learn from it and grow from it, and I will".

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