More than a decade ago, in the somewhat early stages of the Bill Belichick/Tom Brady dynasty in New England, the Patriots hosted the Titans in a January 2004 playoff game at Gillette Stadium.
The two AFC foes will egage in postseason battle again this Saturday night, the Patriots still led by Belichick and Brady, while Tennessee is built around young quarterback Marcus Mariota.
The Boston Globe takes a closer look at the Titans, who advance with a comeback, upset win over the Chiefs on Wild Card Weekend.
The Globe *believes that perceived cracks in the Patriot Way will become a chip on the team’s shoulder heading into postseason play. Elsewhere, though, the *Globe writes that consistency, the theme of the Patriot Dynasty, may be coming to an end. The* Globe reports that the Patriots blocked Houston’s request to speak with New England personnel men Nick Caserio and Monti Ossenfort. The *Globe declares that the Patriots safeties have everything covered. The Globe also says that James Harrison “loves to prove you wrong.”
The Boston Herald breaks down the oncoming matchup between the Patriots and Titans. The Herald Patriots notebook has Tennessee coach Mike Mularkey focused on the task at hand. Herald columnist Steve Buckley writes that there is “something amiss at Patriot Place.” The Herald also wonders what Belichick would be worth on the open market after Jon Gruden got $100 million from the Raiders.
The Providence Journal *kicks off its coverage of the Titans. The *Pro Jo *also notes that getting new players plugged in has been key to the Patriots success this season. The Pro Jo* also passes out grades for the Patriots in the team’s regular season report card.
ESPNBoston.com says the Patriots will need to get familiar with the Titans “exotic smashmouth” scheme. ESPNBoston.com has Brady saying it’s business as usual in New England despite recent reports. ESPNBoston.com looks at those who might be in line to replace Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia if the two coordinators were to move on from New England.
WEEI.com culls together everything there is to know about the Titans. WEEI.com wonders if the Patriots could win a playoff game with backup QB Brian Hoyer. WEEI.com says Brady responding to the recent ESPN story “spoke volumes.”
NBC Sports Boston writes that Patricia, who reportedly interviewed for head coaching jobs with the Cardinals, Giants and Lions over the weekend, will be entering a “whole new world” as a head coach. NBC Sports Boston also notes that the work of Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores -- who also reportedly interviewed for the Cardinals job over the weekend – hasn’t gone unnoticed in New England. NBC Sports Boston observes that the Titans are coming to town this weekend.
NFL.com offers up 12 things we learned from four games over Wild Card Weekend.
CBS Boston writes that there are many reasons to believe the Patriots will wipe the floor with the Titans.
USA Today describes the Patriots as “rested, recharged and rankled” heading into their first playoff game.
Titansonline.com passes along Mularkey’s initial thoughts on facing the Patriots.
SI.com has Patriots owner Robert Kraft responding to the recent ESPN story, and denying some key details in it.
Newsday says that Belichick leaving the Patriots for the Giants is not likely.