New England Patriots: 5 players to watch for vs Tennessee Titans

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So much for the New England head coach and his staff overlooking their divisional playoff opponent. As a former Patriot, he might have an inside scoop on how to play against that offense. "I know those situations aren't easy". It adds fuel to the fire. The largest spread ever in a Divisional Round game was past year with New England -16.5 vs. Houston, and the Pats won 34-16.

"And then, of course, Tom Brady and a good offensive line".

A lot of things have to break Tennessee's way if it hopes to pull off the upset over the Patriots at Gillette Stadium in tomorrow night's divisional round playoff game. They are so competitive and cognizant of their legacies.

The defending Super Bowl champions expect Mariota to test them with his legs.

"It's hard to even answer those questions", said Brady, who claimed he hadn't read the ESPN report but had been briefed on it. It's just that the Patriots' problems before now - publicly, at least - have been with the National Football League, and they have managed to keep internal issues more in house than those Yankee teams did. But I think this is the kind of team people make movies about....

The divisional winners will meet on January 21 for Conference titles with the victors playing for the Super Bowl on February 4 in Minneapolis.

Team chemistry creates a wonderful work environment, but it's not essential to success. Brady is the guy for this team. Having discussed it during paid appearances on national broadcasts, Brady didn't get into details - but he did note that dealing with potential distractions is no big deal after so many seasons.

Keep in mind: The Titans' last win in Foxborough was 1993, back when they were still the Houston Oilers. Belichick says everyone on defense has to do his job. And his Patriots comply. "That's unique, in this day and age, that you can get a guy that can do both very well and still continues to do it year after year", he said.

"Not to us players", he said. And that coach, Denny Green, was seeking to expand his power base into a GM-coach role under a new owner in Red McCombs.

"We also, when we're man coverage or zone coverage, we've got to be able to play our zones or our man tight and not allow windows or not allow a great pocket for him to sit back there and throw, because he's a good enough passer that he'll make all the throws on the football field".

The Titans (and probably the Steelers the following week in the AFC title game) are walking into a hornet's nest this weekend. They were getting burned by Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce in the first half of last week's game, which changed dramatically when Kelce was injured just before half-time.

Dan Shaughnessy, a sports columnist with the Boston Globe, really stirred things up this week when he wrote a column titled: Forget the Titans. Last year, the advantage became even more pronounced when weather nudged Pittsburgh's game at Kansas City from 1:00 p.m. ET to Sunday night. RB DE MARCO MURRAY has 225 scrimmage yards (112.5 per game) & 2 rush TDs in 2 career postseason games. The Patriots never have a Super Bowl hangover, as Belichick does a fantastic job of quickly putting the previous season in the rear-view mirror. This line is continuing to climb but with Tennessee's offense being so far behind New England's and this one being in Foxboro the two-touchdown line seems appropriate.