Dick LeBeau and Bill Belichick meet in rare playoff battle

DeMarco Murray injury update Titans RB ruled out vs Patriots

Quarterback Marcus Mariota didn't have a great season, so it's worth wondering if he'll succumb to the big stage if Henry can't help him with a big performance. Remember, the Patriots rank 20th in total run defense, surrendering 4.7 yards a rush, which slots them 31st in pro football.

The Patriots have had a week off to prepare. Now they run into the NFL's best defense. Are you kidding me? It is a given that if you are able to get garbage at the feet of Tom Brady, he is not the same QB.

In the backfield, Dion Lewis is back to his elusive best as a running back before an ACL injury while James White and Rex Burkhead have also made an impact. "He's had a lot of success bouncing some runs, but at some point you've got to hit some of these holes that are there, and they're not big all the time".

There are an avalanche of forces against a Titans upset of the Patriots, beginning with the fact the Patriots have 41 players on their roster who have played in at least one playoff game.

On a fourth-and-12, McNair hit Drew Bennett from the Pats' 33-yard line in stride down the left sideline.

The Titans lost three of their last four regular season games and nearly missed the playoffs, but they were able to nudge themselves in and picked up a huge Wild Card victory over the Chiefs.

"[He] really revolutionized the game and his system has certainly withstood the test of time", Belichick countered. I think there is a reality of playing in these games - you need to go out and you need to earn it.

Mariota grew up a bit for the Tennessee Titans last week. Road weariness could become a bit of an issue especially in another cold atmosphere in New England.

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New England are hot favourites to beat Tennessee, but the Titans have the offense to make this game interesting as Neil Harvey explains.

Dick LeBeau, Titans defensive coordinator, has faced New England Patriots' coach Bill Belichick many times over his career.

Let me count the ways - four of them - the Titans can pull off one of the biggest upsets in National Football League history. We rarely see this team overconfident and overlooking a weaker opponent. No one really gave the Titans a chance on the road against the Chiefs, and they won because Marcus Mariota chose to become his own wide receiver.

The Tennessee Titans did something no one expected them to do last weekend: defeat the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead. I want to make him look like (Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback) Blake Bortles if I can to try to catch a couple picks. A wide receiver corps Eric Decker, Corey Davis and Rishard Matthews doesn't scare anyone and certainly should be locked down by the Patriots' secondary.

Mariota has moxie to spare and plenty of running/scrambling ability (see: his touchdown pass to himself and his game-sealing block last week) but he was terrible as a passer during the regular season, posting career lows in almost every category and throwing more interceptions (15) than touchdown passes (13). New England's defense has actually failed to force a turnover in three of its last four down the stretch so if Mariota can keep that number down, then Tennessee can keep the number of possessions down while increasing the Titans' chances to win. Their sophomore running back Derrick Henry has overtaken running back DeMarco Murray's starting job while Murray has been out with a knee injury. According to Rapoport, he said the Titans "would have no dead money" if it decides to cut Murray and that the franchise is 'ready to pass the torch'.

The Titans finished the regular season 9-7. Heck, I remember well the day he lit the Titans up for 59 points back in 2009 (sorry I brought this up). This contest screams of a game dominated by Rob Gronkowski, who eats up the middle of the field against mediocre linebackers.

Told that Belichick said he learned a lot from him, LeBeau said he was humbled.

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