Titans Lose to Patriots 33-16 in Foxborough


35. Final. 33. 47. 16

The Tennessee Titans went to the AFC pinnacle of football on Sunday and got a first-hand look at how a team with injuries at every key offensive position and a sick quarterback can execute just enough to put a 3-10 team away early, and cruise to a win.

You could tell that New England Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady was not hitting on all eight cylinders after missing practice on Friday and there was an obvious disconnect between him and his top target, Rob Gronkowski who also took time off during the week.

But that didn’t keep the future Hall of Famer from putting the ball up 35 times with 23 receptions for 267 yards, two touchdowns and a passer rating of 107.7 on a day when he did not have his A-Game.

On the Titans side of the story, once again a slow start kept this team out of the win column. Something they have suffered through for the most of the season.

Trailing 21-3 late in the second quarter was a hill that this young team with a backup quarterback and very few play makers could climb.

It was going to be a tough ask for rookie quarterback, Marcus Mariota to stage a comeback against the World Champs, but after he was knocked out it became almost impossible.

Backup quarterback Zach Mettenberger put up a valiant effort with some help from veteran tight end, Delanie Walker and rookie wide out Dorial Green-Beckham, but the second-year signal caller made some mistakes down the stretch that ended any possible comeback.

Marcus Mariota was sacked three times in his 20 minutes of playing time with one sack leading to a strip fumble and a defensive touchdown that made the score 14-0. The last sack which took the rookie out for the remainder of the game with an injury to his knee came on a missed assignment by Antonio Andrews.

Mariota tried a couple of different braces and wanted back in the game but at the end of the day, interim head coach Mike Mularkey decided to shut his rookie down for the rest of the game and turn it over to Zach Mettenberger.

The only mandate from the owners was to keep Mariota safe, a mandate that got Ken Whisenhunt fired, so Mularkey did the prudent thing and got his franchise player out of harms way.

More from Titan Sized

The Tennessee Titans got a first-hand look on Sunday at a blueprint for success. They got a look at how “just do your job” and “next man up” works on a weekly basis to win games, division titles and Super Bowls.

I became enamored with how the Pats continue to reload at running back with rejects from other teams, and un-drafted free agents that Bill Belichick continues to put on the field.

We all know what Tom Brady, Rob Gronlowski and Danny Amendola can do, but how do they come up with Joey Iosefa?

In his only appearance this year, the kid from Hawaii was the next man up, and carried the ball 14 times for 51 yards which was good for being the game’s leading rusher.

Brandon Bolden chipped in with 36 yards on 10 carries and between the two replacement players, almost doubled the effort from the Titans staff.

Unknown, James White only carried the ball once for six yards, but caught seven Tom Brady passes for 71 yards and one touchdown.

The New England Patriots continue their march to a second consecutive Super Bowl while the Tennessee Titans continue to scratch their heads and and try to win games with a rookie franchise quarterback with no tools.

Next: Final Four candidates for the Titans next GM

It continues to amaze me that a team with $25 Million in salary cap space can be loaded with players who can’t make a play if their life depended on it.

There were top-named running backs, wide receivers and offensive linemen available during free agency, but this team ended up with four questionable wide-outs, and five tight ends.

And a head coach that continues to be surprised that he can’t win a football game!