However, this is a Titans team that has defied the odds over the past two weeks. Hardly anybody wins in Foxborough, not during the postseason at least. "Now, our focus is only New England", Ryan said after Wednesday's Titans practice.
Brady said he is not letting negative coverage surrounding the team be a distraction.
Since 2001, quarterbacks making their first or second career playoff start are 0-7 against New England. A playoff team can't reasonably expect to win with only 195 passing yards and a minus-2 turnover ratio, so Tennessee was fortunate to win that game.
Why they'll win: Mariota's struggles paired with a road tilt against a motivated Patriots defense is a tall order. This is a playoff game.
The turnover differential can often decide football games. "It's a challenge. Anyone who has the ball is going to get tackled".
The Patriots will turn to Tom Brady's brilliance agains the visiting Titans this weekend. Tennessee linebacker Wesley Woodyard believes the rare matchup is a showdown for the ages.
It's going to take a titanic effort to keep that from happening against the defending champion New England Patriots.
Fewer teams beat Brady at home on a Saturday night. And if that Titans' pass rush leads to a turnover in Patriots territory, the visitors will create added scoring chances.
Take last weekend, for example, when Mariota threw a pass, had it blocked and had the awareness and athleticism to gather the loose ball in his hands and run it in for the score. Rex Burkhead and James White combined for 435 yards and five touchdowns. During the Tom Brady/Bill Belichick era, they're 17-3 in home playoff games. Dion Lewis is another talented receiving-back for the Pats. Some were small (Tyrod Taylor), some were big (Ben Roethlisberger), some were Supermen (Cam Newton) and some were Saints (Drew Brees). Henry managed just 51 yards and 1.8 yards per carry against the Jaguars, and afterward he felt like he ran soft. Their sophomore running back Derrick Henry has overtaken running back DeMarco Murray's starting job while Murray has been out with a knee injury.
Henry has played 131 of 135 Titans offensive snaps in his past two games. The following week he would rip the Kansas City Chiefs for 156 yards and a touchdown on 23 totes. Now you put everything that you have into this one-game season. It's time to hand the feature back keys to Henry.
The Titans' running game sputtered throughout much of the 2017 season, but they may have found a recipe for success in Saturday's win over the Chiefs. Reliable for this Tennessee offense. Before getting injured, he was fourth on the team with 33 catches, but he was just one catch behind Rob Gronkowski and Brandin Cooks. It's all about containment for Matt Patricia's defense.
The red zone needs to continue being a strength for this defensive unit.
While these three players are not the stars of the game, look for each of them to try and leave their mark on the contest somehow, especially in crunch time. And for eight long autumns, the Titans did little to be respected beyond their own locker room.