The New England Patriots saw their earliest playoff departure since 2009 as the Tennessee Titans took over Foxboro to defeat the Patriots 20-13.

The Patriots offense was quiet the whole game, as it has seemed to be most of the season. New England quarterback Tom Brady and his offensive corps didn’t seem to figure it out, and to top it off, Brady threw a pick-six with 15 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. Brady was 20 of 37 for 209 yards and that fateful interception.

Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill seemed to be as quiet as Brady, but with a running back like Derrick Henry, he didn’t have to make a lot of noise. Henry had 34 carries for 182 yards and a touchdown, while Tannehill was 8 of 15 with a touchdown and 11 yards rushing.

“That’s the way we like it”, Henry said. “We don’t want nothing easy. We want it gritty. We want it dirty. That’s the mentality we got to have. Our main focus is just finishing, each and every drive.”

Former Patriot and Titans coach Mike Vrabel was appreciative of Henry and his entire team. “That has to be the formula…to be able to run the football, stop the run, was huge. We’re appreciative of everything he does and the way our offensive line and tight ends and fullbacks- it takes all 11 to run the football. But certainly, Derrick’s a huge part of that.”

New England’s defense, who was top-tier in the league, struggled to contain Henry as he seemed to keep punching his way through. He was ultimately the Achilles heel of the Patriots defense whose domination seemed to end quite abruptly.

The Titans head to Baltimore to face the top-seeded Ravens. Baltimore is favored and the Titans will once again be forced to head into hostile territory to keep their season alive.

As for the Patriots, they lock up shop for the offseason and the focus will now be on Brady’s decision to stay, or go.

 

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