NFL Divisional Playoff Preview: Titans at Patriots

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NFL Divisional Playoff Preview: Titans at Patriots

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Voted Associated Press first-team All-Pro, Gronkowski called it an honor, and it's especially sweet given what he's come back from.

The Tennessee Titans are now the NFL's Cinderella team after clawing their way to an upset over the Kansas City Chiefs in last week's wild card matchup.

The New England Patriots begin their quest for a third Super Bowl title in four seasons on Saturday when they meet the Tennessee Titans in the National Football League playoffs. The Titans' defense was the worst unit this year at defending pass-catching.

Offense:Tom Brady (12) threw 32 touchdown passes this season.

He also is 6-0 against Mike Mularkey-coached teams. But age isn't exactly top of mind for Tom Brady. We show up to work and try to do the best we can do.

"I think the main thing is we know how teams are trying to attack us because they'll look at the success that other mobile quarterbacks might have had against us", Patriots safety Duron Harmon said.

Patriots receiver Danny Amendola hasn't noticed any change in Brady.

"He's the ultimate professional", Amendola said. Obviously, it's not the end of the road, but this is what you want to do and this is who we want to be consistently.

The Patriots are an impressive 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games as favorites, with three of the covers coming as double-digit chalk.

And that means no one inside the football offices or locker room at Gillette Stadium will be taking the Titans lightly.

It's a playoff game, so it's not like it's the preseason where I can go out there, 'Oh, it's Brady, ' and I'm chillin. Only former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana had a longer streak with eight games.

"I have the Titans actually going in there and handling business". Of course, he's never played a playoff game before.

The contrast in quarterbacks will be stark. In fact, these extraordinarily large age gaps between QBs in the playoffs are rare and have always favored the older player.

Mariota is not a precision passer and the Titans don't have a bevy of playmakers, but he is talented dual-threat quarterback. The Patriots (13-3) are almost a two-touchdown favorite over a Titans team that sneaked into the playoffs after losing three of its last five games and finished the season with a minus-22 point differential, the only postseason team in either conference to allow more points than it scored. While that question may still be out there for many to talk over, one thing that can not be questioned is the courage he has displayed in big moments for the Titans in his first playoff game. The Titans are going to need several guys to keep Gronk in check.

With Belichick as head coach, he and LeBeau have faced off in the playoffs once: the 2004 AFC championship game that New England won in Pittsburgh, 41- 27. They are going to face off against the Tennessee Titans in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, and it will not be an easy win by any stretch of the imagination. Now you put everything that you have into this one-game season. The team's really relying on you.

The Patriots would prefer to keep Mariota in the pocket and make him beat them with his arm.

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