Titans vs. Patriots: 3 keys to victory for Tennessee in Wild Card game
By Ravi Konjeti
Control time of possession
Tennessee has the league’s best running back in Derrick Henry and will look to run him against the Pats. Surprisingly, Tennessee is a bottom-feeder in time of possession this season, sitting 28th in the league. However, for the Titans to pull a victory on the road against the Pats, they will need to hold the ball.
If the Titans can sustain long drives, then they limit the possessions that Brady and Co. get to dissect the Titans defense and put up points. Brady has shown aggravation and restlessness when he sits on the sideline while opposing offenses kill clock. This was evident in the Ravens-Pats matchup this season in which Lamar Jackson kept stringing together long drives.
The Titans should stray away from making this a shoot-out matchup. The Titans secondary is not built to last an onslaught. The Titans fare better in games that are physical and utilize the strength that is the Titans run game.
Henry will be critical for the Titans to win. I expect Bill Belichick to pack the box and force the Titans to pass. The Titans need to stay true to their identity as they have all season and continue to run Henry in the second half, despite their first half success.
It will be tough for Arthur Smith and Mike Vrabel to keep true to the run game if they are behind early, but as we have seen all year, second half Henry is an unstoppable force.