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On Saturday, January 13th, the (9-7) Tennessee Titans will be on the road to take on the (13-3) New England Patriots in the second round of the 2017 NFL Playoffs.
“The Crowd” is projecting a final score of Patriots 27.5 – Titans 21.0 with an over/under of 48.5.
2017-18 Statistics (32 total teams):
Yards per game: Patriots 394.2 (1st) > Titans 314.0 (23rd)
Points per game: Patriots 28.6 (2nd) > Titans 20.9 (19th)
Turnover margin: Patriots +6 > Titans -4
Fewest yards allowed per game: Titans 328.0 (13th) > Patriots 366.0 (29th)
Fewest Points allowed per game: Patriots 18.5 (5th) > Titans 22.2 (17th)
New England is coming off their first-round bye and should be well rested for their game against Tennessee. The Patriots (+162) led the league in point differential. Recent reports indicate there may be some inner conflict between owner Robert Kraft, Head Coach Bill Belichick, and quarterback Tom Brady. Brady has played at an MVP caliber level this season and doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. The Patriots are battle tested and should be able to overcome adversity created by the media. The Patriots enter the post-season as favorites due to their winning pedigree and talent rich roster.
Tennessee pulled off a surprising 22-21 road upset over the Kansas City Chiefs after trailing by 18 points. Every break seemed to fall Tennessee’s way whether it was a Marcus Mariota tipped pass that he caught for a touchdown or a Chiefs fumble return called back due to a penalty. The Titans outgained the Chiefs 397-325 in total yardage and overcame two turnovers in the victory. Marcus Mariota was 19-31 for 205 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Mariota’s legs were also a factor as he carried the ball 8 times for 46 yards. Derrick Henry filled in for the injured DeMarco Murray and had a monster game. Henry totaled 156 rushing yards and a touchdown on 23 carries (6.8 average). Delanie Walker had a nice game with 6 catches for 74 yards. The Titans defense played well slowing down Kareem Hunt and forcing Alex Smith to beat them through the air. The Titans (-22) rank 16th in the NFL in point differential.
The Patriots ended their season winning eleven of their last twelve games and will be the more well rested team. Tennessee ranks 25th against the pass (240.2 YPG) so look for Brady to have a big game through the air. If New England can slow down Derrick Henry they can force the Titans to be one dimensional. In the end it’s hard to bet against Belichick and Brady who have won eight of their last nine playoff games.
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