Bill Belichick gave a brilliant response when asked about the Titans strengths

NFL Wild Card weekend roundup: Packers make GM pick

Prior to 2012, the most recent Titans home game versus the Patriots was the 2006 regular-season finale, with the Titans needing a victory to clinch a playoff berth.

Despite appearing focused, only Saturday's game will truly tell if the Patriots have dismissed these damaging reports, as the franchise goes in search of another playoff win against the Titans.

The 40-year-old passer, seeking his sixth Super Bowl crown, was said to be at the heart of a split involving Patriots coach Bill Belichick and team owner Robert Kraft as well.

That's a foreboding sign for the Titans when considering how the Patriots have performed when favored by that many points.

As for the Brady-Mariota matchup, it marks the second time they will face each other, though Mariota injured his knee early in the first matchup - a 33-16 Patriots win on December 20, 2015 - and played only 19 snaps that day.

David Steele: It all looks so lopsided on the surface, but the Patriots can't overlook either the resourcefulness of Mariota, as he displayed against the Chiefs, or a Titans defense that shut the Chiefs out in the second half.

8- The Titans do not really pose much of a threat considering how much trouble they have had scoring points, as well as their poor pass coverage this year. The main problem recently has been a staggeringly bad Titans offense, which hasn't scored above 24 points since week six and has scored less than 20 points in three of their past five games.

And the Patriots ultimately did send the 12-4 Titans back to Tennessee, though the 17-14 scoreline was anything but a blowout. I've kept in touch with all those guys.

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One thing, besides championships, the Patriots have become known for is blocking out distractions.

"We've dealt with some non-Tennessee subjects here over the last few days", Belichick said to close out his opening statement. "We still have work to be done, including this week, but I am looking forward to the journey". Long before the Titans took the field in KC, rumors ran rampant that a Titans loss might cost him his job, despite the team ending its playoff drought. The Chiefs' weakness just so happens to be the Patriots' weakness: Run defense.

Brady took exception to the notion that unnamed players claimed Brady was happy to see Garoppolo go during his weekly interview on radio station WEEI.

But Mariota was also sixth in the NFL (Brady was first) in third-down passer rating. Demarco Murray has been ruled out, so a steady diet of Henry runs, plus Marcus Mariota quarterback runs will be essential for the Titans to move the ball and control time of possession.

"I love him as a player, as a person, and what he does for this football team", Mularkey said.

"In 18 years, I've never celebrated when someone has been traded, been cut", Brady said on his weekly appearance on Boston radio station WEEI.

"This is a playoff game".

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