NFL: Titans at Patriots Divisional Round
By FRANCIS S ESTEPAN
ITC Sports Division Writer
The unfortunate truth about this matchup is that even Titans’ fans themselves are already planning on next year’s coaching job, free agency targets and overall team rebuilding strategy. Not to mentioned the regrets or wishes of the Titans signing Gruden. Mariota, Henry, Decker, Walker brought their best to what could have been known as their biggest stage performance in the last decade. Not to mention a defense that completely shut out a Chiefs offense that had already scored 3 touchdowns.
The Titans proved to have poise and heart when their season seemed to be 30 minutes from being over. Gutsy calls by the coaching staff in going and failing for the 2 point conversion twice should only reinforce that the Titans are going all in “Live or Die” state of mind, and that should not be taken lightly. Nor rewarded with fans jumping ship at the realization that they are facing the Patriots.
Another year, another New England Patriots drama revealed that attempts to uncover some weaknesses within the organization, Tom Brady and Belichick. Seriously? Is it the human condition to destroy everything that was once good before it comes to an end? Have you noticed that the Patriots are great at tuning out all the negatives and winning championships. They have been making it work for 17 years, and I’m sure they can make it work for another year. Football wise if the Patriots as a team and organization are good at beating their opponents regardless who they are.
Key Factors/ Match ups
- Tom Brady has thrown a (Healthy) Rob Gronkowski 8 touchdowns, which is as many as total interceptions as he has all season. 32 touchdown totals to 9 different players.
- Derrick Henry rebounded with 156 Yards last game against the Chiefs. If Henry can make breakout plays like he did last game, Titans will look good.
- 19 Points is the lowest scoring game for the Patriots. Tennessee has allowed 22.3 points per game.
- Titans’ defense will be the deciding factor.
It’s too easy to say that this is going to be an easy win for the Patriots. The Patriots are a great team and the Titans have shown great qualities and potential. All the numbers point towards the Patriots. They are a more complete team than any team that the Titans have faced since they played, another AFC contender in, the Steelers. If the Titans can pull the win off, or how they lose this game will determine how their summer will go. Mariota and Henry should push themselves to go all out with their heads high after this season.
Notes: Personally I don’t think either team should win base on their organizations (Yes, I understand it’s a business). The Titans’ started shopping coaches, players and everybody else even before the end of the Chiefs game. I understand being realistic about the winning chance VS a Patriots team, but could you at least keep it together for another week before throwing in the towel? The Titans had and are having a successful season that only points towards a bright future. Take notes from the ‘Niner Empire’ who have seem to found gold in Jimmy G and have nothing but praised and high hopes for a team that have been eliminated from contention weeks ago. I would love to see the New England Patriots win a championship and Belichick speech going something like “Thank you to the Patriots fans and organization, and I look forward to playing against you guys next year”. Followed by Giselle (Model, Tom Brady’s wife) speaking on behalf of Brady, while he holds his 3 kids, **In a Brazilian accent** “Tommy is going to focus on fatherhood next season”. At that point in time the camera flips over to the GM who is rethinking on how he will deal with the 2 biggest factors in his dynasty leaving.