Tennessee Titans: Derrick Henry Trucks New England Patriots Out of the Playoffs
It was a foggy night at Gillette Stadium between the Tennessee Titans and the New England Patriots. New England had to play on Wild Card Weekend instead of getting a first-round bye because they lost to the Miami Dolphins (5-11) 27-24 at home last weekend and the Kansas City Chiefs won against the Los Angeles Chargers (5-11) 31-21.
The Patriots wished they had a first-round bye because running back Derrick Henry trucked them all game long with 182 yards rushing on 34 carries and a score, along with one reception for 22 yards in a 20-13 win for Tennessee over New England.
It was also his 26th birthday on Saturday.
With the Titans trailing 3-0 in the first quarter, Ryan Tannehill threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Frisker. Tannehill didn’t pass the ball much in this game because he didn’t need to. Tannehill completed 8-of-15 passes for 72 yards one touchdown and one interception. He also rushed for 11 yards on four carries.
Frisker caught two passes for 23 yards receiving and a touchdown.
Marcus Mariota also completed a pass for four yards.
Corey Davis did not have a catch in this game as well for Tennessee.
In the second-quarter, Julian Edelman scored on a 5-yard rushing touchdown for the New England Patriots. He finished with 12 yards rushing on two carries and a score. Edelman also caught three passes for 30 yards receiving.
Sony Michel was the leading rusher in this game for New England with 61 yards rushing on 14 carries. He also caught two passes for nine yards receiving.
James White was the leading receiver in this game for the Patriots. He caught five passes for 62 yards receiving.
Benjamin Watson caught three passes for 38 yards receiving. He expects to retire.
Another player that could retire is not only Mathew Slater, but also quarterback Tom Brady. That could have been his last ever game in a Patriots uniform. He completed 20-of-37 passes for 209 yards and one interception. Brady also rushed for zero yards on zero carries.
Brady will be a free agent for the first time in his career this offseason and he is 42 years old. It will be interesting to see what happens moving forward.
With Tennessee trailing 13-7 near the end of the first-half, Derrick Henry scored on a 1-yard touchdown run with 35 seconds remaining to give them a 14-13 lead. Henry accounted for the entire 75 yards on that drive.
No team reached mid-field in the second-half until the Titans did in the fourth quarter. One of the weirdest sequences of the game and maybe ever in playoff history was that Tennessee could have attempted to go for it on fourth-and-5 from the New England 36-yard line with 6:18 remaining in regulation.
However, there were some loopholes in the rules about committing a consecutive amount of penalties intentionally and that is what the Tennessee Titans did to waist clock.
Mike Vrabel didn’t mind doing that and Head Coach Bill Belichick was absolutely furious about the situation altogether, even though he did the same thing in a 33-0 win in Week 7 on the road against the New York Jets earlier in the year.
On that same drive for the Patriots, Julian Edelman dropped a key pass on a second-and-4 from their own 37-yard line and it would have been a first down. Instead, they would punt on that drive.
With 2:54 remaining in regulation, Tennessee had a third-and-8 from their own 15-yard line. Ryan Tannehill completed an 11-yard pass to Ryan Frisker. It melted more clock. The New England Patriots were able to make a stop after the two-minute warning and they got the ball back with 15 seconds remaining. On the first play, Logan Ryan picked off Tom Brady for a 9-yard touchdown (failed two-point conversion).
Ryan dropped a pick-six earlier in the game.
This was one of the most shocking results in recent playoff history.
New England will not be in the AFC Championship Game for the first time since 2010.
This is the first time since the 2012 regular season and the 2013 postseason that they have lost a playoff game at home and it was to the Baltimore Ravens by a score of 28-13 in the AFC Championship Game.
The New England Patriots will have a lot of questions moving forward with this franchise. Will Bill Belichick, the head coach of the New England Patriots at the moment, go home and coach the New York Giants?
Will Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels also get a head coaching job as well?
Is this also the end of New England’s dynasty?
As for the Tennessee Titans (10-7), they will go on the road in the AFC Divisional Round and face the Baltimore Ravens (14-2) next Saturday night.
As for the New England Patriots (12-5), they will head into the offseason with utter disappointment and New England is no longer the defending champions in the NFL.
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