New England Patriots vs Tennessee Titans

How Marcus Mariota's Early Injury Forced Titans To Change Strategy Vs. Patriots

Report | Titans offer Mike Mularkey contract extension

Unfortunately, this is the New England Patriots. They have the numbers to prove it.

The Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady showed he stands above all. The game marks Vikings quarterback Case Keenum's first career playoff start - and the first post-season game at U.S. Bank Stadium - site of next month's Super Bowl. He broke the tie with Hall of Famer Joe Montana who had nine postseason TD passes.

A better play call, like one that took advantage of Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota's mobility, also could've helped. Brady is 40 and he is in the twilight of his future Hall of Fame career.

Amendola looked fresher than he has all season - it seems the first-round bye did wonders - and whenever Brady needed to move the chains, No. 80 was his guy.

Titans coach Mike Mularkey revealed after the game that Mariota suffered a strained quadriceps muscle in the first quarter.

The Patriots stretched their margin to 14 points just before halftime after a trio of careless penalties by the Titans.

What's important about this game is that Jimmy Garoppolo is getting paid for New England's victory. Last week's victory over the Chiefs was the Titans' first postseason win since January 3, 2004.

It was the first playoff win for Philadelphia since the 2008 season, and they will host the Minnesota Vikings or New Orleans Saints for the conference title next Sunday.

"When it comes down to it, it's all about us", Mariota said. "You can't hurt yourself". "He hit some holes (against Kansas City) that we got 5, 6 yards on them just by him hitting it with that big body and that big frame". Brady adding another lethal weapon is bad news for the Titans' 25th-ranked pass defense. He was never sacked, releasing most of his pass attempts before any Titans got close to him. Despite a 13-3 record, New England is 20th in the league in rush defense (1,836 yards allowed, 114.8 ypg) and it has yet to face a ball carrier of Henry's stature.

The Titans are likely looking to make their ground attack the focal point of their game plan.

- Tevin Coleman, Falcons, ran for 79 yards on just 10 carries in Atlanta's loss at Philadelphia.

The Patriots removed Hogan from the injury report, and he will play for the first time since December 11, when he caught one pass for one yard in a 27-20 loss to the Dolphins. Going into the final quarter, it was 28-7 with 4:02 left in the third quarter.

Guard Quinton Spain was held from practice early in the week with a back injury but put in a full practice later in the week.

The Titans have three players who once played for New England: starting right guard Josh Kline, cornerback Logan Ryan and backup quarterback Matt Cassel. It's entirely possible that controversial, damning ESPN story about the deteriorating relationship between Brady, Belichick and Bob Kraft will cause the Pats to completely come apart at the seams.

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