The Patriots need a win on Sunday to stay ahead of Denver and Cincy for the first overall bye. The game will be on Sunday at 1:00 pm and in 40ish degrees weather and winds from 10-15 mph. So, not the coldest game ever played inside of Gillette Stadium and the sun will be out, according to the forecast.
Here are the keys to a Patriots win.
1. Protecting Tom Brady:
I think and I hope the OL will finally begin figuring out how to protect their hall-of-fame and Franchise QB on Sunday. They will face a defense that has 35 sacks on the season. Jurrell Casey and Brian Orakpo lead the way with 7 and 6 sacks apiece. The guards will have to handle Orakpo while Fleming or Vollmer will deal with Casey and they better deal with it and win the day. Brady needs time to flourish.
2. Pressuring the QB:
The Titans have given up 44 sacks on the season, 35 of those when Mariota has been the QB. The Patriots are very good at getting to the QB and have nice blitzes so this weekend they should have no trouble getting to the QB. When they get there, getting him down is a different thing, thanks to the mobility of Mariota. But, pressuring the QB will make things very hard for the Titans and it’s something the defense should win. Pressuring the QB is always a great way to win.
3. Preventing the big plays:
This is another big key on defense. When the pressure doesn’t get there, keeping the Titans from making a big play via the air or ground will be huge. They love to pull off big runs and big pass plays and they have the height to do that. Making Mariota go 80 yards with no big plays is the ideal thing for the defense.