Thanks to a Week 17 victory over their division rivals, the Houston Texans, the Tennessee Titans will be making just their second playoff appearance since the 2008 season.
The Titans have been one of the most improved teams in all of football over the final half of the regular season. The combination of Ryan Tannehill and rookie AJ Brown has helped take the team’s passing game to unforeseen heights, while Derrick Henry finished 2019 as a top-three rusher league-wide.
However, despite their recent brilliance, the Titans will have their hands full in the first round of the AFC Playoffs this coming weekend. In fact, a case could be made that no team is faced with a more difficult matchup in the Wild Card round.
When and Where: Titans at Patriots
- Location: Gillette Stadium Stadium (Home of NE)
- Date: Saturday, 1/4
- Time: 8:15
- Coverage: CBS
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Titans at Patriots on Wild Card Weekend
The Titans will take their suddenly explosive offense into a place where no team hopes to be come playoff time. Tennessee will travel to Foxborough to take on the defending NFL Champion New England Patriots on Wild Card Weekend.
With Houston opting to play their backups in Week 17, many expected Tennesee to walk their way into the playoffs. However, a matchup vs. the Pats was as unlikely as the Miami Dolphins defeating the Patriots in their home stadium. Yet, that’s exactly what happened. With Miami’s shocking victory and Kansas City’s 31-21 win over the Chargers, New England will be participating in their first Wild Card game since 2009.
For the first time in years, the Patriots have shown a glaring knick in their armor. New England’s offense has been sluggish and less explosive in 2019 than any Patriots offensive unit in recent memory. While the Pats have been able to hang their hat on their superb defense in 2019, they just got 320 passing yards hung on them by Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Things won’t get any easier for the Patriots defense, as another Ryan, Ryan Tannehill, has played arguably the best football of any quarterback league-wide over the latter half of the regular season. Tannehill has tossed 20 touchdowns to just six interceptions since being inserted as the team’s starting QB back in Week 7. Over six of Tennessee’s last seven contests, their offense has averaged a phenomenal 33.1 points per game.
Don’t let Tannehill’s brilliance fool you, Tennessee is still a ground-and-pound offense at heart. Derrick Henry has been dominant in 2019, leading the NFL’s sixth-ranked rush offense by accounting for the third-most rushing yards in football and being one of just seven players to register double-digit rushing touchdowns this season.
History is not on Tennessee’s side going into this weekend. They’ll likely be pegged as huge underdogs as they take their talents on the road to Foxborough. However, the Titans are arguably the most dangerous team taking the field on Wild Card Weekend and are ready to throw a wrench in the Playoff picture.