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AFC Divisional Playoffs: Three things to watch in Titans v Patriots

AFC Divisional Playoffs: Three things to watch in Titans v Patriots

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS FOXBOROUGH, Mass.

It has been since the 2009 National Football League season since the New England Patriots did not hold a first-round bye in the playoffs.

During Brady's tenure the Patriots are 6-1 against the Titans. He's 11-2 in 13 divisional-round games since 2002 and has completed 316 of 509 passes for 3,700 yards and 28 TDs in those games.

The Titans are significant underdogs for this divisional matchup, the team's first visit to this round since 2003.

In a joint statement last week, all three men brushed aside any insinuation of strife at the top of one of the NFL's jewel franchises.

"They went their way, I went mine, and there is no bad blood there", he said. It doesn't really matter what happens outside of this facility, and what we're trying to accomplish.

Patriots receiver Danny Amendola hasn't noticed any change in Brady.

He was asked specifically what Brady has done to make him a better player. Tom Brady is 6-1 against Tennessee as a starter, including a 2003 victory at the same stage of the playoffs. In two games as a starter, Henry has amassed 308 total yards and two scores, including two back-breaking plays versus Jacksonville, to seal a playoff bid, and again last week versus Kansas City, to seal a playoff win. That means converting third downs, eating up the play clock and running the ball down the throat of the Patriots' defense. I know the fans will be into it.

He continued, saying, "I would never, ever feel that way about when Jimmy got traded, when Jacoby (Brissett) got traded. We believe in each other and I'm enjoying the ride".

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"We did beat them the first time, so to have all the confidence coming out of there is interesting", Jaguars DT Malik Jackson says. "The one nice part is there will be a lot of familiar faces, friendly faces after the game, which is always nice". "I want to make [Brady] look like Blake Bortles if I can to catch a couple picks".

The contrast in quarterbacks will be stark.

The Titans used the combination of Mariota wreaking havoc with his legs and Henry punishing Kansas City's poor run defense to mount a thrilling comeback last Saturday.

New England quarterback Tom Brady, the NFL's all-time postseason leader in career attempts, completions, passing yards and passing touchdowns, will be making his 35th career playoff start. That's concerning because he's 40 years old and he also faded down the stretch when he last played a complete season, back in 2015. Simple fundamentals like running and catching can go a long way. "It's really going to come down to execution".

With Belichick as head coach, he and LeBeau have faced off in the playoffs once: the 2004 AFC championship game that New England won in Pittsburgh, 41- 27. The over/under for this game (47) appears to be tempting considering the Patriots' ability to put points on the board.

"And, we know when you give up something on tape, a team is always going to try to test you there and see if you got the problem fixed, and if not, they're going to keep running it".

"There's no doubt about it", Vikings defensive coordinator George Edwards says, "you have a first ballot Hall of Fame quarterback that does an excellent job of going out and executing their game from week to week".

Brady isn't taking anything for granted.

"These are fun games to play in".