They then went on the road and rallied from 21-3 down and stunned the Kansas City Chiefs 22-21 to advance for the second time.
"It just shows that how tough of a team they are under the pressure", New England's Rob Gronkowski said earlier this week. Pressuring Brady and winning one-on-ones on the outside will be pivotal if the Titans defense is going to have success against the New England offense and get them off the field.
But standing in their way are the Tennessee Titans, who have reached the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
Here's everything you need to know to watch the game, or follow along as we bring you the latest score, live updates and more.
On the heels of the bombshell ESPN report that painted an internal power struggle between the New England Patriots' "Big 3" of quarterback Tom Brady, head coach Bill Belichick and team owner Robert Kraft, Brady is dealing with a new distraction ahead of the club's Saturday playoff game. "I'll answer any questions about the Titans but that's it". Since 2000, New England is 32-1 when favored by 13 1/2 or more points, including 4-0 in the playoffs. "For a young guy like me, that's what you aspire to be". I know those situations aren't easy. Belichick simply won't allow any outside stimuli to affect his team.
"You just gotta ignore the noise and just focus on what we've been doing all year and that's preparing hard, studying our opponent, getting ready, mentally and physically for the big game, so what's going on on the outside, as a team, as an organization, just gotta keep grinding, keep going, keep doing our job".
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In his film study of the Titans' defense this week, Amendola took special notice of safety Kevin Byard, a second-year veteran from Middle Tennessee State who finished the season with 87 tackles (64 solo) and eight interceptions.
This game has mismatch written in indelible ink, which has the Titans both irked by the nationwide disrespect and understanding of the circumstances. "It's a very unique skill because a lot of guys once they get scrambling, they're not even looking downfield anymore, they're just looking to run. Run north, south, and forward", he said. One of the touchdowns passes actually went to himself after Darrelle Revis batted down one of his passes before Mariota caught it and scored.
Away from the play-offs, the biggest story of the post-season to date has come in Oakland where the Raiders have signed legendary coach Jon Gruden as their new boss.
If he's back to 100 percent effectiveness, Hogan can provide another dimension for Tom Brady in an already risky Patriots offense which features Cooks, Rob Gronkowski, and Dion Lewis among many others.
"I'm used to it now", Ryan said about returning home.
"When it comes down to it, it's all about us", Mariota said.
That's why I expect the entire divisional round of the playoffs to be closer to the noncompetitive Falcons-Rams game. So I don't really care if it was Joe Montana. I'm trying to go out there and win the game.