Tennessee Titans Vs. New England Patriots: Important Matchups

Jan 28, 2011; Ko Olina, HI, USA; Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson (left) and New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick at AFC media day at the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort for the 2011 Pro Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

The opening week of the NFL regular season is here, and the Tennessee Titans face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Week 1. Here are some important match-ups to watch this week:

Jake Locker vs. Bill Belichick  Defense

Bill Belicheck has an undefeated record against quarterbacks making their first career start. Jake Locker is making his first career start this Sunday. Can Locker run the offense and make the necessary plays from the quarterback position? Or will a defense that was historically terrible last year return to the form of past Patriot teams?

Chris Johnson vs. Vince Wilfork/LBS

The Titans need Chris Johnson to return form and make last year an aberration. He will have to go against the run stuffing NT Vince Wilfork and an improved line backing group. The Patriots drafted DE Chandler Jones and LB Dont’a Hightower and expect an immediate impact from both. If CJ can make plays and get in a rhythm it would be huge for taking some of the pressure off Jake Locker.

Colin McCarthy vs. Tom Brady

Colin McCarthy has been an absolute animal ever since he became the starting MLB for the Titans and this year look for him to take another step towards becoming an All-Pro. Look to see how McCarthy leads this defense; he is clearly the leader of it now. His instincts and play-making ability are going to have to come up huge against Tom Brady and his stable of receivers.

Michael Griffin vs. Patriot TE’s

Michael Griffin has shown he can play (two-time Pro Bowler) but he has also been inconsistent at times. Jerry Gray expects him to step up this year and be a play-maker for this defense. Griffin needs roam the middle of the field and take away plays between the hashes from New England’s young TE’s Gronkowski and Hernandez.

Week 1 against the Patriots is a good early test for the Titans and will really show where this team is at. I feel that there may be an upset.

 

Follow me on Twitter @Rusty_Griff

Topics: AFC South, New England Patriots, NFL, Tennessee Titans, Titan Sized

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  • http://www.titansized.com/ Justin Stewart

    I can’t wait to see this game. I hope the Titans get the offense going well early and McCarthy does his thing.

    Could be one heck of a game.

  • NEvictory

    For starters the most important matchup is going to be Kamerion Wimbley vs. Nate Solder at LT protecting Brady’s blind side. Also, if you have the lazy bum that is CJ in fantasy dont count on a big week. If Belichick can do anything its minimize your best weapon and force Jake Locker to make decisions he may not be comfortable with. Fortunately for the Patriots, the drunkin fool that is Kenny Britt wont be an option for Jake and Kendall Wright is containable. End of story. NE 38 TN 17

    • http://www.titansized.com/ Justin Stewart

      You don’t know CJ. Seriously. He’s not a lazy bum, we just have one of the worst run blocking lines, ever.

      Ever.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_L4ZET7H7KOG7RWYUF4NIAZYEMM Robert

    I think this will be a very competitive game. N.E. has definite issues along their O.L. that have yet to be rectified; could be a good opportunity for the Titans to make some noise. For that reason, I’d actually rather see the Patriots now than later in the season.

    • http://www.titansized.com/ Justin Stewart

      Yeah. The Titans, fortunately, have rectified the issues they had with their D-line last year. I’m very excited to see how this defense fairs against the Patriots. I’m also really curious to see the offense being led by Locker for an entire game.