Tennessee Defense Needs to Titan Up to Overcome Patriots

Midway through the season the Titans looked like a viable choice to win the AFC South but struggles down the stretch cost them. Coming off the back of an 18-point comeback, Mike Mularkey will look to add another impressive win now that his job is safe.

by James Payne – Wannamakeabet Staff Writer

The New England Patriots thrive at home in the playoffs, including 17-3 in Foxboro with Tom Brady under center. Controversy has yet to phase this team in the past so expect the Patriots not to be setback by the recent story regarding the power struggle at the top of the hierarchy.

While Brady wasn’t at his best in the 2017 postseason, his offense still managed to put up at least 34 points in each of its three games en route to a Super Bowl LI triumph. The Patriots have averaged 30ppg in the team’s three game win streak to close out the regular season. Only once this season did the Patriots fail to score 20 points (19 on a Thursday night in Tampa, without Rob Gronkowski).

The Titans this season averaged more points against (22.3/g) than points for (20.9/g) and that is certainly no way to beat the Patriots. However, in wins the Titans have averaged just over 20ppg and conceded 17.4 points.

The Titans (8-7-1 ATS) accumulated 397 yards in its victory over the Chiefs, third best on the season, including 202 on the ground for a team high in 2017. Tennessee will need to ride Derrick Henry while he’s hot, coming off 156 yards last time out. If he gets going, this will open up space for Marcus Mariota to use his legs in play-action and bootlegs.

The Patriots (11-5 ATS) will be able to win this game with its offense that average over 28ppg. Dion Lewis has carried the load down the stretch with Rex Burkhead, James White and Mike Gillislee injured. The expected return of two, if not all three, of these backs for the playoffs, plus Chris Hogan’s return, will add to the Patriots’ offense and be able to keep the others fresh.

The Patriots don’t lose at home in the playoffs and the same will go for Saturday night. Expect the Titans to be competitive, and get the better of the Patriots defense.

Pick: Titans +13

O/U: Over 47

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