We are three days away from a Sunday afternoon matchup between the Titans and the Patriots and a week away from Christmas! TIS the season indeed!
The Patriots need to win out to take the first overall bye week if Denver and Cincy win out. Here are the players who will make a win this Sunday possible.
1. LB Jamie Collins:
He will have to spy QB Marcus Mariota and those legs. Keeping and forcing Mariota in the pocket to make throws and not allowing him to scramble for yards or make plays on the run will be a huge key to this defense. Running Quarterbacks love chaos and chaos happens when a LB or DE overpurse and leaves a gap in the line between the Guards and Tackles (usually), so it’s key that Collins doesn’t overpurse nor Ninkovich, who has trouble with that. Mariota ran 9 times for 112 yards against the Jaguars in their win, 87 yards being his longest run. If he can run it’ll be hard to keep the Titans out of the end zone, so taking that away is a very big deal.
2. RB Brandon Bolden:
He didn’t do too bad of a job last Sunday night, but now he will be full time as the lead back taking over for LeGarrette Blount. Bolden may be a bit smaller but he’s powerful and a short yardage type back. He has good hands too. He will have a good chance to prove himself Sunday against the Titans and put the minds of the Pats Nation to ease with a good outing. Also, if he can get the running game going it will help Brady and the OL out. It’s time to see what the little Hulk is all about.
3. WR Brandon LaFell:
Gronk and Amendola will take the lead Sunday, but everybody knows the defense will focus on Gronk, so LaFell really needs to start catching the deep passes, getting open faster, and catching the football. He needs to want to be good and to be a big part of this offense. He needs a bounce back game or at least a decent game. If LaFell can get going it will help the offense out and they will score much easier.