New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick addressed the media Tuesday morning as his team begins preparations for a playoff showdown against Tennessee on Saturday night, and he made it clear that he is done talking about an ESPN story that outlined an apparent power struggle between him, Tom Brady and Robert Kraft. The biggest difference we've seen is Mariota consistently extending plays with his legs and right arm, running for key first downs and putting his body on the line for his team.
The Titans are significant underdogs for this divisional matchup, the team's first visit to this round since 2003.
It's been a tale of two games for running back Derrick Henry and the Titans since starter DeMarco Murray was sidelined. This is going to be one of the first times ever that fans will be able to get such a deep look into Brady's private life on and off the field.
As the beer commercial claims, respect is earned, not given. The Titans hold their fate in their own hands. But then general manager Jon Robinson arrived from Tampa Bay after spending time with the Patriots. The last coach Britt played for in Tennessee was Mike Munchak under general manager Ruston Webster.
Titans defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau has experience against the Brady-led Patriots in the playoffs. Tomlin's Pittsburgh Steelers will play at home, along with Belichick's Patriots, but Payton has to take the New Orleans Saints north to face the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium - the site of Super Bowl LII.
But wide receiver Danny Amendola indicated Thursday what a lot of people seemed to sense - that the intensity level at Gillette Stadium has been raised a tad in anticipation of Saturday night's AFC Divisional Round playoff game against the Tennessee Titans (8:15 p.m., CBS).
The Titans are 4-0 ATS in their last four overall and 9-20 ATS in their last 29 road games while the Pats are 14-3 ATS in their last 17 against a team with a winning record and 4-0 ATS in their last four games against the Titans.
Neither the Titans nor the Chiefs were the same from that point forward.
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It may take a few Titans having the best game of their careers to pull off a win.
"They have each other's backs", Mularkey said.
"I'm not really interested in responding to all those random and in a lot of cases baseless comments", Belichick told reporters on Monday. "But, we had a cup of coffee together, I'll say that". So when it has an effect on my family, it has an effect on me. "I mean, he's a big guy".
"That's just such a poor characterization of anything", Brady said this week. "We certainly didn't want to see him go".
The Tennessee Titans brought some heat against a mobile quarterback in Alex Smith last week in Kansas City. He covers the Detriot Lions and the New England Patriots. "This team does that quite often".
Though both players now are in unfamiliar territory, they said the win-or-go-home stakes haven't altered their preparation for Saturday.
Anyone who pays attention to the National Football League knows that there have been whispers of problems within the Patriots organization.