Patriots cruise to shot at AFC title


The three pillars of the Patriots dynasty, who have delivered five Super Bowl titles since 2002, have pushed back hard against the revelations, which included a claim that Brady had pushed for understudy Jimmy Garoppolo to be traded against Belichick's wishes.

New England shut down Tennessee after the Titans scored the first touchdown of the game. Despite the odds being against them, the Titans overcame that deficit and got the victory.

Pats 34, Titans 20: The Titans don't have the defense to beat the Patriots in January. The Patriots earned the No. 1 seed in the AFC with a 13-3 regular season record.

If New England takes away what the Titans do best - run with Henry and Mariota - it will be up to Mariota to make plays with his arm. When the Patriots got close to the end zone, they were ruthless, converting five-of-five chances.

It was a stunning choke job for the Chiefs considering how dominant they were in the first half. "It's a quick passing game". On a catch, Danny Amendola barely got to the ground just before time expired in the half. "We had to get out of some of our scheme with him".

To advance to the AFC Championship game, the Patriots will have to go through the Titans first. Too many times, the Titans faced long yardage on early downs, which allowed the Patriots to ramp up the pressure on quarterback Marcus Mariota. "We show up to work and try to do the best we can do", Brady said this week. "They're waiting on you to do it and we did". However, they may also need the Patriots to make an uncharacteristic mistake. The largest spread ever in a Divisional Round game was previous year with New England -16.5 vs. Houston, and the Pats won 34-16. He's hasn't played in an National Football League game since that season.

That said, the Titans still have their share of questions to address during the offseason.

They were flagged 10 times for 62 yards on Saturday, just the second time they had 10 or more this season. The first was an offensive pass interference call on Titans receiver Eric Decker that wiped out a Tennessee first down.

Elsewhere today, the Philadelphia Eagles will hope to prevent a season which had promised so much from ending in disappointment when they take on the revived Atlanta Falcons at Lincoln Financial Field.

The touchdown pass that followed, by the way, was an effortless floater to Rob Gronkowski.

"Nobody respects us. Nobody really expects a lot from us".

The players spent the time leading up to the game saying it was no big deal, Brady denied wanting Garoppolo gone, it looked like business as usual and, as it turned out, it was. That's why they've been successful all these years. He has proven his worth over the final few weeks.

It's fair to grind your teeth in disappointment for the rest of the weekend if you're a Titans fans. The lone loss came December 16, 2002, which was his second season as a starter.

But when the frustration fades, understand that crafting a consistently winning team doesn't happen overnight. "When I play my best and I'm most comfortable, I just go out there and play". Construction begins for 2018 starting now.