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Week 19 Game Recap: Tennessee Titans 14, New England Patriots 35
What you need to know
The Titans offense started strong, but inevitably floundered as the Patriots dominated their way to the win. Marcus Mariota
passed for two touchdowns while leading the team in rushing, but he was sacked eight times, due in part to the first quarter injury of right tackle Jack Conklin. Derrick Henry
got nothing going on the ground with only 12 carries for 28 yards. While Eric Decker
led the team in receiving, it was Corey Davis
in the spotlight as he scored his first career touchdown on a circus-like one-handed catch. Davis would follow that up with another touchdown in garbage time as he had the best fantasy game of his short career.
-The Jaguars defense presents a massive challenge, as they can rush 4 and get to the passer, which is the Patriots' kryptonite. Expect short passes, no huddle, a forced run game, and things of that nature.
may return, but with the way Dion Lewis
is playing, he should still be heavily involved.
-The Jags have elite DBs, and how they cover the Pats skill players will be worth monitoring, as the Pats have RBs, TEs, and WRs who can all win in the passing game.
|QB Marcus Mariota, 67 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 37 - 254 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - 37 - 0|
and the Titans started out hot in this game with a 95-yard touchdown drive to take an early first quarter lead over the Patriots. This drive was certainly the highlight of the game for the Titans as Mariota made some great passes while also making impressive plays with his legs, including an 11-yard scramble on third-and-seven to keep the drive alive. Mariota would convert another critical third down with a bullet to Rishard Matthews
over the middle for eight yards. Soon after that play, Mariota kept it on an option to the right as he accelerated for his second 11-yard run of the drive. Two plays later, Mariota a very impressive pass to Corey Davis
in the corner of the end zone on which Davis hauled in the one-handed circus catch for the first touchdown of the game. Mariota's second and only other touchdown would come in garbage time as he found Corey Davis
again on a well-thrown ball that Davis plucked out of the air while falling out of the end zone, barely tapping his toes for the score. Outside of that long drive in the first quarter and his couple of touchdown passes, there really were not a ton of highlights for Mariota as he was under severe pressure for most of this game. Losing his All-Pro right tackle Jack Conklin early in the game certainly did not help as Mariota would end up getting sacked eight times - the most he has been sacked in a game all season long. It was reported after the game that Mariota actually sprained his quadriceps in the first quarter of the game and played through the rest of the game with that injury, which helps explain why 31 of his team-leading 37 rushing yards all came before halftime.
|RB Derrick Henry, 62 offensive snaps, Rush: 12 - 28 - 0, Rec: 3 - 21 - 0 (4 targets)|
flopped in the divisional playoff round after his big performance against the Chiefs. Henry managed only 28 rushing yards on 12 carries while hauling in three of four targets for 21 receiving yards. After back-to-back outings with over 20 carries, the game script did play a role in holding Henry back here. The Titans lost All-Pro right tackle Jack Conklin in the first quarter, and it definitely showed as Henry simply could not find room at all as the offensive line was ineffective at opening up running lanes. Henry did not rush for over four yards on a single attempt as his biggest play of the game came on a 14-yard reception on a garbage down (3rd-and-31). Henry made a huge miscue to at the end of the first half as the Titans ran him up the middle on fourth-and-one, but Henry abandoned his blocks and tried to cut back around to the left before the Patriots absolutely swallowed him up for a big loss and turnover on downs. Overall, it was a disappointing the rookie to close out the season.
|WR Eric Decker, 56 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 85 - 0 (7 targets)|
led the Titans in receiving with six receptions for 85 yards. Decker's first reception would have gone for 13 yards early in the second quarter if not for a very disputable offensive pass interference penalty that would end up ultimately stalling the drive for the Titans. Decker's first actual reception would come on the next drive as Decker ran right through the zone coverage of the Patriots into a wide-open hole to complete a 22-yard reception, tied for his longest of the game. Decker's second 22-yard reception came on a big third-and-ten on the final drive for the Titans which ultimately resulted in their second touchdown of the game. This was a very impressive catch made by Decker as he was falling out of bounds, barely tapping the toes to keep them in. The play would stand after an official review, marking one of the more impressive catches of the game.
|WR Corey Davis, 58 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 63 - 2 (8 targets)|
had the game of his career during this divisional playoff matchup as he tied for a team-leading eight targets with both of the Titans touchdowns. Davis started the game with an 11-yard out route on the Titans first possession. His next reception would be one of the biggest of his career as this was Davis's first career touchdown reception. It was a highlight reel play on which Davis executed a nice stop-and-go route that Mariota led him perfectly on to the back corner of the end zone. Davis, in full stride, hauled in the ball with one arm and pinned it to his body to maintain control for the touchdown. Davis would later come up big on a fourth-and-11 play on the Titans' final drive of the game as he tapped his toes before going out of bounds to haul in a 17-yard reception that kept the Titans drive alive. Just a few plays later, Davis found the end zone for a second time as he caught yet another fourth-down pass with an 11-yard toe-tapper falling out of bounds in the end zone.
would have yet another disappointing performance to close out his season as he only managed to haul in three of eight targets for 27 yards. His longest play of the game came in garbage time as Matthews hauled in a 12-yard pass near midfield despite being held on the play. Matthews really never did look himself after returning from a hamstring injury in Week 14 as he closed out the season on quite the negative note.
finished with only three receptions on six targets for the Titans, with 36 of his 49 yards all coming on his first reception of the game to start off the Titans' second drive. From the five-yard line, Walker ran a simple route up the seam and turned around 20-yards downfield to haul in the well-thrown pass from Mariota. Walker would then power his way another 16 yards with three Patriots defenders clinging onto him but struggling to take him down. Walker ended up being double-teamed for most of this play as the Patriots did what they do so well by taking one of the Titans' best offensive weapons out of the game.
New England Patriots
|QB Tom Brady, 78 offensive snaps, Pass: 35 - 53 - 337 - 3 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - 2 - 0|
After struggling through the regular season, Tom Brady
turned in a great performance against an overmatched Titans squad. The first quarter saw some mild rust, but it was game on after that. Brady's first touchdown was a shovel pass to James White
that simply utilized White's speed and good blocking. His second was a short pass to Chris Hogan
who ran a semi-slant route from the inside slot. Credit the gameplan with the formation on a 4 wide set, as Tennessee defenders were a step behind with the initial look. His last touchdown was a lob to Gronk, and Gronk simply outmanned his defender, which is nothing new. Brady's biggest miss was to Brandin Cooks
on a deep throw that could have put him over the 400 yard passing mark, but given the conditions at the stadium, perhaps the cold and wind came into play. His best play was easily a scrambling cross-body throw across the field to Danny Amendola
, something you simply don't see from an elder statesmen like Brady. He will have a MUCH tougher test against Jacksonville next week, but if he can repeat this performance, look out.
|RB Dion Lewis, 43 offensive snaps, Rush: 15 - 62 - 0, Rec: 9 - 79 - 0 (10 targets)|
If there is anyone who has helped lead the offensive charge for the Pats as of late, it's Dion Lewis
. He touched the ball 24 times, and has been perhaps the critical player over the last month or so. Lewis ran the ball well, and completely overwhelmed the Titans backers in the passing game with a whopping 9 catches. He got open at will, and was able to convert several key catches. Looking like one of the more explosive players on the field when he gets the ball, Lewis will once again be a focal point against the Jaguars despite getting his touchdowns 'vultured'.
|RB James White, 32 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 11 - 1, Rec: 4 - 29 - 1 (7 targets)|
The Titans were amongst the league worst when it came to running back receiving, so it made sense James White
was involved. And involved he was, scoring two touchdowns despite relatively limited touches. His first score was a short shovel pass from Tom Brady
, and the blocking and execution were on point. The second was a run to the left where White shed a tackler and squirted through a narrow opening to just make it into the end zone. His touches will continue to be minimal especially if Rex Burkhead
is back next week.
Gronk calls him Danny 'Playoff' Amendola, and with good reason. Amendola led the passing game charge, snagging everything in his vicinity, simply dominating old teammate Logan Ryan on many plays. The highlight was a scrambling across the body throw to the opposite side of the field by Tom Brady
that Amendola leaped for and caught. Other than that, it was constant chain moving and precise route running. His role is up and down, but he shows up when it matters.
|WR Brandin Cooks, 76 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 32 - 0 (9 targets)|
With a relatively quiet day, the biggest highlight for Cooks was a narrow missed deep connection with Tom Brady
that would have gone for a big gain. Other than that, he simply wasn't needed because of Danny Amendola
's dominance along with running backs and the defense.
|WR Chris Hogan, 67 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 4 - 1 (4 targets)|
Coming back from a long injury layoff, Hogan's only catch was a short slant touchdown. Expect him to be more involved next week, though the matchup is daunting.
Gronk had a relatively solid game, and when he was in single coverage, the ball usually went his way. This included his 1 on 1 touchdown which was simply a fade type jump ball. It was fairly obvious where the ball was going at the outset, and the result was as expected. He completely alters the dynamic of the offense even when he isn't putting up 100 yard games due to defensive attention, and this was no different.