Pats chase seventh straight AFC title berth against Titans

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The Tennessee Titans make the short trip east to play the Patriots on Saturday night, with a victor just one more game away from Super Bowl 52.

That defensive keystone will be challenged this week by the Titans, one of the game's best teams the last two seasons in turning red-zone opportunities into touchdowns. Will those distractions galvanize them or will they throw them off course? A dismayed Titans team was stunned and distracted by reports that Mularkey could be fired following the game.

Hogan missed seven of the final eight regular-season games with a shoulder injury suffered October 29. His size and movement should see him feast on the soft centre of the Titans defense.

"I got more in the flow of the game", Henry said.

Against Jacksonville on December 31, Henry made up for a rough day running by taking a screen 66 yards for a touchdown. In this game versus New England, the Titans will need more of Henry.

The Patriots are a 13.5 point favorite according to OddsShark, with 51 percent of the action backing the Titans.

Let's hold our horses here. Henry and quarterback Marcus Mariota will again have to hijack the game, which won't be as easy in Foxboro. A lot of the protection schemes that New England runs on Saturday will be based on those 3 players, and getting the ball out of Brady's hand quickly should be a goal. The Titans employ a typical game plan of defending deep, and conceding space underneath. For weeks, it's been presumed Steelers vs. Patriots will decide who goes to the Super Bowl from the conference.

"I mean, first of all, that's a very, very hard play to make, and that shows you his skill set, his athletic ability", Harmon said.

No catchy line for this point. That's more such players than the 11 other 2017 playoff teams combined (13). They finally came to their senses and made Henry the starting running back. A wide receiver corps Eric Decker, Corey Davis and Rishard Matthews doesn't scare anyone and certainly should be locked down by the Patriots' secondary. There can not be any slipups this week versus the Patriots.

The Titans know that another slow start will likely result in a loss against the Patriots. Both times they've had that in the past four years, they've won the Super Bowl. Tom Brady threw for 267 yards and two touchdowns. Sometimes they get it, sometimes they don't. The Titans must present Gronkowski with a number of different coverages to prevent him from recognizing a coverage and changing his approach to beat it. Then, they would go on to complete one of the largest comebacks in playoff history against Kansas City in one of the most hostile environments in all of professional football. It will all depend on the pass rush. Only the Chiefs' Kareem Hunt had more yards rushing (474) in the NFL in the fourth quarter this season than Henry (390), who averaged a league-best 6.09 yards per carry over the final 15 minutes. Sure, Casey has to play well but someone has to be there to benefit from his pressures up the middle, so why not Orapko? We know there's a lot at stake and I think everyone's put a lot into it.

Steelers and Jaguars double up with scouts: As is standard operating procedure, the other two teams still alive in the AFC field - Pittsburgh and Jacksonville - are scheduled to have two scouts apiece in attendance. After all, he was a member of the Patriots for a few years before becoming a Titan.

But now that I've got Titans fans all excited, allow me to disappoint you. This was early in the Patriots' dynasty when they had just one championship.