Patriots chase sixth NFL Super Bowl title


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. There are many things that have to happen, but these six things could surely help them have a great opportunity. With starting running back DeMarco Murray out with an injury, Henry played almost every snap and rushed for 156 yards and a TD on 23 carries and caught two balls for 35 yards.

Considered more of a finesse player at Oregon, Mariota has developed into more of what, traditionally, many would consider an old-fashioned football player.

Harrison had somewhat of a falling out with the Steelers before he was released and most definitely would like to play them again. That includes a 33-16 victory at New England in 2015 in the clubs' latest meeting. Luckily, Belichick can win with any of their backs and one of them was not listed on the report, the explosive Dion Lewis. Erick Decker contributed 545 yards while Corey Davis and Murray had combine for 641 yards in receptions.

On Saturday, the Atlanta Falcons are 2 1/2-point favorites on the road against the NFC's top-seeded Philadelphia Eagles, the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots are favored by 13 1/2 points over the Titans. Simple fundamentals like running and catching can go a long way. The rest of the football world will be waiting for the clock to strike midnight and for the playoff version of the Titans to revert to the turnover-prone, low-scoring team we all remember. They were able to tally four sacks in the win and rendered the Chiefs offense lifeless.

With players like linebackers Brian Orakpo and Wesley Woodyard, along with defensive tackle Jurrell Casey, Tom Brady will need to have his offensive line in full protection force.

One issue hounding the Patriots is they have frequently gotten too wide and deep in the backfield when pass rushing, allowing quarterbacks to take off unchecked up the middle.

Three-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman Jurrell Casey has to find a way to get after Brady and make him uncomfortable in the pocket.

Past controversies, from 2007's Spygate to 2015's Deflategate have invariably brought out the best in Brady and the Patriots, who are rarely more risky when they perceive an injustice. It was the same Chiefs team that upset the Patriots, 42-27, at Gillette Stadium in Week 1 of the regular season. This is a different Titans defense than that one, of course, and it will fight. "I hope fans enjoy seeing what we captured". They're just looking to run. After all, he was a member of the Patriots for a few years before becoming a Titan.

We basically saw this factor come into play in the wild card round. The good news for him is that New England ranked 30th in the league in total passing defense. The Patriots have all the pressure on them. Survive and advance or fall to the champs? If they can continue to hold their opponents to field goals rather than scores, and put the ball back in Tom Brady's hands, that spells trouble for their opponents.