Tennessee made their way back to .500 with a convincing win over the Redskins in Week 9. If they are going to maintain their momentum and offer any kind of challenge to the surging Texans in the AFC South, they will have to knock off Tom Brady and the streaking New England Patriots.
That would be the same Patriots team that won six in a row since staggering out of the gait at 1-2. New England has yet to take the field with the full complement of offensive starters with Rex Burkhead, Sony Michel, Julian Edelman, and Rob Gronkowski among the wounded.
It hasn’t mattered much with Tom Brady at the helm. The ageless wonder has adapted. James White shed the label of “pass-catching back” to become a viable running threat. Cordarelle Patterson keeps popping up all over the field as a receiver, runner, and returner.
Josh Gordon picked up the Patriots offense rather quickly and gives Brady a viable second option opposite Julian Edelman.
Tennessee came off its bye week and made Jimmy Jones answer questions about Jason Garrett’s future with a 28-14 victory over the Cowboys. The team took it on the chin early, enduring what looked like three straight turnovers to open the game before turning things around after a reversed call and an end zone interception.
The Titans shut out the Cowboys in the second half and reasserted their claim as a possible playoff team.
Injuries and notes
Titans’ receiver Taywan Taylor has a toe injury and is questionable against the Patriots.
Offensive guard James Conklin is in the concussion protocol. Cornerback Dane Cruikshank is also listed as questionable after injuring his knee against the Cowboys.
Patriots’ receiver Josh Gordon reported that he popped a dislocated finger back into place “a couple of times” during last week’s game. He will suit up Sunday.
Rob Gronkowski is considered week-to-week with assorted injuries. No decision will be made until the last minute.
Sony Michel practiced this week. The Patriots say they are “optimistic” he will play this weekend.
This will be the first time Patriots coach Bill Belichick will face a team coached by one of his former players. Mike Vrabel has proven he can put together effective game plans against better teams. His reputation won’t suffer if he fails to beat the Patriots.
Belichick was spotted smiling on the sideline during last week’s game. Things appear to be going well in New England.
How to watch the Titans-Patriots game
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Read More: NFL Week 12 Game Preview: Titans at Texans
Who will win the Titans-Patriots game?
Mike Vrabel has led the Titans to some unlikely victories this season but also suffered a couple of upset losses. While anything is possible on any given Sunday, the odds that Belichick will let a former player beat him in a rookie season are pretty long.