The Tennessee Titans vs. the New England Patriots

The Tennessee Titans vs. the New England Patriots

After putting up a decent fight in the first half, the Titans had -1 yards on offense prior to their garbage-time touchdown drive (16 plays, 80-yards) late in the fourth quarter. Last week's victory over the Chiefs was the Titans' first postseason win since January 3, 2004. James White had two rushing touchdowns and Tom Brady passed for two more to carry the offense.

Brady lit up the Titans defense for 337 yards and three touchdowns while completing 35 of his 53 passing attempts, but he made sure to take the spotlight off of himself afterward.

While it all ended with Brady, it didn't exactly begin there.

After the Titans grabbed an early 7-0 lead, Tom Brady and the Patriots took control and cruised to victory on home soil.

MARIOTA SHOWED PROMISEThe Titans scored first as Marcus Mariota threw a flawless 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.

Ultimately, Lewis was ruled down by contact after a 31-yard gain. He kept the party going Saturday night with not one, but two scores, the second of which gave New England the lead for good with 9:27 left in the second quarter. On the other side, the Titans will again load up on Derrick Henry, who just had the best game of his career with 23 carries for 156 yards and a touchdown.

New England's defense was able to generate that pressure thanks to great coverage down the field in the secondary.

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It's a major improvement for the 2016 43rd overall pick out of Penn State, who was inactive in six of the first nine games of his rookie season past year.

New England tied the game up on the next drive.

Playoff newcomer Stephon Gilmore shined in his debut on the big stage, allowing zero catches on balls thrown in his direction on a mere three targets. One of the most telling stats was on third-down efficiency as New England converted 11 of 17 third downs while the Titans were 5 of 15. The Patriots' defense came up big sacking Mariota 8 times.

Deitrich Wise, Jr., twice sacked him. As for replacing McDaniels, wide receivers coach Chad O'Shea seems to be the leader in the clubhouse, but also Belichick may consider Brian Daboll, who was Alabama's offensive coordinator this year after leaving New England as its tight ends coach last offseason.

Brandon Bolden, known mostly for his work on special teams, also scored a touchdown out of the backfield for the Patriots.

The Tennessee Titans had probably the second-bumpiest road to the playoffs this year behind only the Kansas City Chiefs. This was a dominant performance from New England at home to advance to the AFC Championship Game against the victor of Sunday's matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Jacksonville Jaguars.

The defending Super Bowl champion Patriots are 13-3, they're the No. 1 seed, and they're heavy favorites in this one, but it's worth noting they haven't always been invincible this season.

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