The mighty Patriots play their first tilt of the postseason, and their first game since a bombshell ESPN story dropped about dysfunction in New England. Which is fitting, because we all know how much Pats coach Bill Belichick loves distractions…
Anywho, the Pats open as 13.5-point favorites over the visiting Titans, who pulled out a miracle to beat the Chiefs last week. Get this, though: 13-3 New England is favored by 13.5 points against 9-7 Tennessee in the Divisional Round; in 1996, 13-3 Denver was favored by 13.5 points against the 9-7 Jaguars in the divisional round—and lost! That
probably most likely doesn’t mean much, but it is why they, as the old saying goes, play the games.
Another interesting tid-bit: This game features the largest age gap between starting QBs (Tom Brady, 40; Marcus Mariota, 24) in NFL playoff history.
Another factor working in Tennessee’s favor: Mariota now has more playoff TD catches than Odell Beckham Jr. and Mike Evans combined.