Forget the fact that Belichick was again thrust into the national spotlight in a long series of controversies, with the infamous Spygate and Deflategate episodes still resonating all these years later.
Most believe the Patriots are the team to beat, as witness their current 2-1 odds of repeating. Meanwhile, Matt Ryan - nine years older than his opponent Jared Goff - is fresh off a Super Bowl run and now sports the second-highest postseason passer rating in National Football League history (among QBs with at least 250 pass attempts). Rex Burkhead and James White combined for 435 yards and five touchdowns. New England has not lost in the divisional round since January 16, 2011 at home against the New York Jets, which is also the last time quarterback Tom Brady won the regular-season MVP award. Dion Lewis is another talented receiving-back for the Pats.
That's unlikely, however, and that's part of why Big Ben wants this rematch. After rushing for 1,287 yards and catching 53 passes in 2016 for Tennessee, Murray averaged just 3.6 yards per carry this season and rushed for nearly half as many yards as he did last season. Demarco Murray has been ruled out, so a steady diet of Henry runs, plus Marcus Mariota quarterback runs will be essential for the Titans to move the ball and control time of possession. It's an injury that can take from two to six weeks to heal. The following week he would rip the Kansas City Chiefs for 156 yards and a touchdown on 23 totes.
But whether or not you agree with the Jimmy Garoppolo trade and regardless of your theory as to why it was made, the Patriots host the Tennessee Titans this Saturday night at Gillette Stadium. ESPN's Seth Wickersham released an interesting piece about the future of the franchise after this postseason run that received an incredible fan response and required the team to release a statement saying that everything was fine within the organization. It will take a combined effort from Alan Branch (back from injury), Elandon Roberts, Kyle Van Noy, and others to keep Henry contained.
They will be big favourites in the American Football Conference (AFC) divisional round having won their last six meetings with the Titans, including a 2015 game. Reliable for this Tennessee offense.
"I've gotten that question many times throughout my career and I've said this many times - it's hard to see him go to another level of intensity because he's always intense, he's always preparing hard", Gronkowski said. He will most likely draw lots of coverage from safety Patrick Chung, who has had success against tight ends this season.
Henry ran for 744 yards on 176 carries with five touchdowns during the regular season in 2017. It's all about containment for Matt Patricia's defense. These are some big words, and no doubt Brady has had some rough games this season, but Byard will have his work cut out for him if he intends to make such a star quarterback look like hot garbage on the field.
The red zone needs to continue being a strength for this defensive unit. Each play of the game is important, but the only way that you can have a lot of good plays on game day is by the practice week.