Maurice Jones-Drew: Titans will beat Patriots because of Derrick Henry

Ruben Hill
January 13, 2018

After Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry rushed for 156 yards in a 22-21 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in the first round of the National Football League playoffs, the desire of some of the Chiefs, particularly cornerback Darrelle Revis, to tackle the 247-pounder was called into question.

LeBeau said to Titans beat writer Jim Wyatt on TitansOnline.com that the key is "not letting (Brady) read you like a book, which he is very adept at".

Belichick would not talk about the subject yesterday, instead keeping his focus on the home game with Tennessee.

It's going to take a titanic effort to keep that from happening against the defending champion New England Patriots.

"I'm not really interested in responding to all those random and in a lot of cases baseless comments", Belichick told reporters on Monday. "That's fine", he said. Rumors persist that Bill Belichick has a strained relationship with owner Robert Kraft and that this will be his last season with the team that has been so incredibly successful. So it's easy for people to overlook us.

Rob Gronkowski paced Brady's passing attack for the majority of the season with 69 receptions for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns in 14 games, and it'd be a shock if he didn't have a big night against the Titans.

Instead, Marcus Mariota and Derrick Henry led Tennessee to score 19 unanswered points en route to a stunning 22-21 victory. We have to play better than they do to be able to continue playing.

"We're on to Tennessee", Belichick said.

Mitchell has missed the entire season after being placed on injured reserve with a knee injury before the regular-season opener.

Though both players now are in unfamiliar territory, they said the win-or-go-home stakes haven't altered their preparation for Saturday. Henry scored the game-winning touchdown versus Jacksonville two weeks ago to clinch a playoff spot for the Titans. Henry ran for a career-high 156 yards, and Mariota added 46 yards.

The former Heisman Trophy victor has starred in the running game for Tennessee in recent weeks with DeMarco Murray sidelined with a knee injury.

Three-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman Jurrell Casey has to find a way to get after Brady and make him uncomfortable in the pocket.

Henry has waited his time, and now it appears he has finally secured his feature back opportunity. Fourteen Patriots players have played at least 10 playoff games.

Regardless, NFL playoff games generally come down to the quarterback play, and the discrepancy between the haves and have-nots in each of the four divisional games is stark - and likely the reason the teams considered the "haves" will advance to the championship round. So Mariota will have to throw a clean game Saturday for the Titans to have a chance.

Divisional round games continue on Sunday with the AFC North champion Pittsburgh Steelers (13-3), who like the Patriots and Eagles had a first-round bye, hosting AFC South victor Jacksonville Jaguars (11-6).

The respect between the two is mutual.

"[Eagles] Coach Doug Pederson wants Foles to get back to being aggressive and letting it rip", ESPN's Tim McManus reported on Wednesday. They're good, as I said, in all three phases of the game.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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