The New England Patriots' matchup vs. the AFC-leading Tennessee Titans on Sunday couldn't come at a better time.
Tennessee is coming off an ugly 22-13 loss to the lowly Houston Texans. A potentially season-ending foot injury to Derrick Henry derailed the team offensively, star wide receiver Julio Jones remains on injured reserve, and there's a chance fellow wideout AJ Brown also misses the game due to a chest injury.
The series of unfortunate events gives the Patriots a perfect opportunity to extend their win streak to six games and maintain the top spot in the AFC East. But are we underestimating the Titans heading into the Week 12 showdown? Have the rumors of Tennessee's demise been greatly exaggerated?
Tom E. Curran posed those questions to Matt Cassel and Phil Perry on a new episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast.
"To a certain extent, yes, we are overstating (the Titans' demise). At the same time, it's a long season and they've had so many injuries," Cassel said. "They've played 82 different players this year. The league record all-time would be 84 which they should smash that by the end of the year. That being said, they've had a ton of injuries at key positions, particularly Derrick Henry, and you can start to see it wearing on this team."
Perry adds that Tennessee's offense has been one of the worst in football since Henry went down with a foot injury in Week 8.
"They were the eighth-most efficient offense in football with Derrick Henry. And now without him, they're 22nd," Perry said. "To me, they just don't have enough on that side of the ball because it's not just Derrick Henry who's hurt. Julio Jones is out, AJ Brown has been banged up. Offensively, to me, they just don't have the horses to be considered a true AFC contender."
Also discussed in this episode: Are you buying or selling Ryan Tannehill as a good QB? Is Mac Jones better than Tannehill Did the Patriots dodge a bullet not going for Julio Jones? Breaking down the keys to the Patriots-Titans game. And Cassel shares stories about playing with Mike Vrabel.