New England Patriots
The only team the Titans are guaranteed to face in the playoffs may also be their toughest matchup. Boasting an elite run defense and an even better pass defense, if the Titans hope to beat the Patriots, it may take a strong defensive performance from Tennessee.
The good news is that the New England offense hasn’t looked anywhere near as dominant as their defense this season, especially in recent weeks. Since their Week 10 bye, the Patriots have scored over 30 points just once in seven games, and failed to break 20 against the lower-ranked defenses of the Cowboys, Eagles, and Chiefs.
When the Patriots have had a good day on offense in recent weeks, it has typically come from a strong rushing performance from New England backs Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead. In four of their last five games, the Patriots as a team have combined for over 130 yards on the ground.
Despite the Titans defense not looking as dominant as they did early in the year, Tennessee still boasts a strong run-stopping front seven that only gave up three games of over 120 rushing yards, giving them a favorable matchup against New England’s greatest offensive strength.
Taking the rushing attack out of the Patriots gameplan will put the pressure on Tom Brady, who has looked like the weakest link in New England’s championship-caliber roster.
Even if the Patriots keep Tennessee out of the endzone for most of the game, the Titans defense should be able to keep pace with a struggling New England offense. And in a close game, Tennessee could continue to get Derrick Henry enough touches to wear down down the Patriots defense enough to steal a win.