After a season that featured a largely-dominant Patriots defense, for the second consecutive week the team couldn't get a stop when it needed one.
It happened on the game's final drive in the regular-season finale, which led to the Patriots playing on Wild Card Weekend.
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Then it happened three times on Saturday: Drive No. 1, the final drive of the first half, and the game-winning-slash-clock-killing drive that left the Patriots with little time to attempt a comeback.
Though the Titans only scored 14 points offensively, the grades for the Patriots defense weren't pretty. Ditto for the offense. When the season ends the way theirs did, hard to have these marks turn out any other way.
It’s easy to scoff at the idea that expatriate Patriots are better equipped to go against Bill Belichick’s program than other teams. But the evidence is too overwhelming to refute. From last Sunday back to Super Bowl Sunday 2007, the Patriots’ past is pockmarked by defeats dealt to them by former employees.
One of the most resounding of those came last year in Tennessee when the Titans pummeled the Patriots, 34-10. The Titans scored 17 in the first quarter and 24 by halftime as Marcus Mariota picked them apart, Derrick Henry ran with relative ease and the Tennessee defense bottled up the Patriots ground game and teed off on Tom Brady.
After seeing what Miami did last week to the Patriots, there’s really no reason for Tennessee to quake in the face of a Patriots team that just got pantsed by the Dolphins.