Tom Brady's a Legend, But New England is 'Garrapolonoid'

DeMarco Murray injury update Titans RB ruled out vs Patriots

It's playoff time in Foxboro, Mass.

Pity the poor Tennessee Titans, the latest sacrificial lamb for the New England Patriots in the playoffs.

When the Tennessee Titans visit the New England Patriots in an AFC divisional semifinal Saturday night, it will be a battle of playoff neophyte against playoff slayer.

The Patriots will turn to Tom Brady's brilliance agains the visiting Titans this weekend.

Brady, who is 14-0 in the playoffs when he has a quarterback rating of at least 95.0, finished the season with a 102.8 rating, completing 66.3 percent of his passes and throwing for 4,577 yards, 32 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Now Mike Mularkey is safe.

In a joint statement last week, all three men brushed aside any insinuation of strife at the top of one of the NFL's jewel franchises. And yet... As Bleacher Report pointed out on Tuesday, in a piece that characterized Bortles as the quarterback's answer to Rob Gronkowski, there remains the ineluctably frustrating sense that Bortles has the pure, unrefined talent to be able to do prodigious things on a football field.

"We do what we always do". It doesn't really matter what happened outside of this facility and what we're trying to accomplish.

Patriots receiver Danny Amendola hasn't noticed any change in Brady. "We've done a good job playing at home".

Tennessee recognizes the challenge it faces against Brady.

"These are fun games to play in". "Once we walk on that field Saturday, we won't know who the hell is on the other side of the field". This is a playoff game. I still don't necessarily trust the D, but when Bill Belichick has extra time to prepare for you, he is a master at exposing your weaknesses and taking away your strengths. The Titans will need more of that energy and desire along with skill if they are to win this game. "You do all the meetings, and walkthroughs, and March, April, May, June ... try to work out and be prepared for the season, and you get through it and you make it through a whole season and have a chance to compete with everything at stake".

New England quarterback Tom Brady trains this week ahead of the match against Tennessee. So I like the look of Walker (3TDs) to get plenty of action underneath.

The contrast in quarterbacks will be stark. Marcus Mariota is the key.

To get it, they'll have to stop a quarterback that has been almost unbeatable in this round of the postseason. Mr. Brady recently spoke about the series and stated: "I have thought for many years how cool it would be to show fans other aspects of my life and interact with them in a different way". It's really going to come down to execution.

The Titans trust that LeBeau, who turned 80 the day before this season opened in September, will put them where they need to be.

During the Patriots' sustained success under Belichick, New England has placed an emphasis on winning in the third phase of the game.

After averaging 12 carries a game over a nine game stretch - by far a career high - he closed out the 2017 regular season like Smith and Dillon would have done, with 24 and 26 carries.

"Whether you are pressuring or whether you are going coverage, if he knows where you are going, then he is going to be pretty effective", LeBeau said. They were getting burned by Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce in the first half of last week's game, which changed dramatically when Kelce was injured just before half-time.

We'll see if Mariota the football player can put that scare into the unbeatable Patriots.

Putting Brady on this list is nearly like cheating, but what do you expect? The team relied on Dion Lewis and the ground game.

In 2018, defenses don't have to be great or game-dominating - though Minnesota, Jacksonville and Philadelphia are nearing that category - they have to make a handful of big plays.

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