New England Patriots Divisional Playoff

New England Patriots: Three things to Watch against the Tennessee Titans

The New England Patriots make their annual trip to the divisional playoffs. However, this year may not be as certain as years past. While the Patriots have played well all season long, they have question marks. This year they seem to be more vulnerable than others. The toughest thing for the opposition will be to have to travel to New England. That is a tough place to play. SO what do we need to watch for the Patriots on Saturday Night? Here are three things.

  1. Secondary

Unlike years past, the Patriots defense was one of the league’s worst. Especially their secondary. The Patriots finished 30th in the league against the pass. Only two teams were worse, the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While the receivers for the Tennessee Titans are not perennial Pro Bowlers, they are talented. If the Titans are able to protect Marcus Mariota, they could find success against the Patriots secondary. Thus, Matt Patricia may have to get creative in protecting his coverage.

  1. James White

White has come on strong as a running back for the New England Patriots. They are going to need to lean on him. This could be tough. The Titans finished fourth in the league against the run this season. Last week, against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Titans only gave up 69 yards on the ground. Getting success from White and the ground game will help keep the Titans pass rush off Tom Brady. This will be a big watch for the Patriots offense.

  1. Offensive Line

If the Titans are able to stop the run successfully, then they will test O-Line of the Patriots. The pass rush of the Tennessee Titans was able to get to Alex Smith four times last week. While Brady does not hold the ball as long as Smith does, if the Pats O-Line is not ready, the pass rush could get to him. They not only want to keep their QB from facing pressure but keeping the pocket clean is important as well.

The New England Patriots are huge favorites in this game. Nonetheless, it could be a dogfight. The Titans have nothing to lose. All the pressure in this game is on New England. Could an upset happen?

How do you see this game playing out? Are the New England Patriots vulnerable? Leave a comment below.

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