Game Notes: Titans vs. Patriots

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TEAM NOTES

·         With their victory at New England, the Titans advanced to the divisional playoff round to play the AFC's No. 1 seed, the Baltimore Ravens. Kickoff at Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. CST on Saturday, Jan. 11.

·         The victory improved the franchise's all-time record to 9-5 in wild card games and a 5-4 record on the road in wild card games. 

·         The win improved the team's postseason record to 7-7 in the "Titans era" (1999–present).

·         The win gave the Titans at least one playoff victory in two of the last three seasons (2017 wild card win).

·         The Titans made their second postseason appearance in four seasons under general manager Jon Robinson. Robinson's team also earned a wild card win following the 2017 campaign.

·         Second-year head coach Mike Vrabel earned his first playoff victory in his first career postseason game with the Titans.

TEAM NOTES – OFFENSE

·         The Titans scored a touchdown on their opening possession for the second consecutive week. They went 75 yards on 12 plays, taking 6 minutes and 58 seconds, one week after reaching the end zone on their first drive at Houston to end the regular season.

·         The Titans offense converted 50 percent of its attempts on third down. The team had six conversions on 12 total attempts.

·         The Titans' 201 rushing yards made up the second-best playoff total in franchise history. The only playoff game in which the team had more was 202 rushing yards at Kansas City on Jan. 6, 2018.

·         The Titans' 201 rushing yards were the second-most allowed by the Patriots during the 2019 regular season and playoffs. The Patriots had the NFL's No. 1 overall defense in 2019 and ranked sixth against the run.

·         The Titans scored touchdowns on both of their trips inside the red zone at New England, continuing the success they found during the regular season. During the regular season, they scored touchdowns on 75.6 percent of their drives inside the opponent's 20-yard line to lead the NFL and finish with the NFL's best percentage since the 2013 Denver Broncos (76.1).

·         In the fourth quarter, with the Titans nursing a one-point lead, they totaled a time of possession of 11 minutes and 4 seconds on three possessions. That included one drive that consumed 8 minutes and 1 second.

TEAM NOTES – DEFENSE

·         The defense shut out the Patriots in the second half. It marked the Titans' second consecutive wild card game in which the defense pitched a second-half shutout. The Titans last accomplished the feat in a win at Kansas City on Jan. 6, 2018.

·         The Titans limited the Patriots to 13 total points. That amount tied for the lowest by the Patriots in a playoff game under head coach Bill Belichick. The last time the Patriots scored 13 points in a playoff game was their Super Bowl win against the Los Angeles Rams on Feb. 3, 2019.

·         The Titans defense limited Tom Brady to 20-of-37 passing for 209 yards, no touchdowns, one interception and a 59.4 passer rating. The passer rating was the fifth-lowest of Brady's postseason career and was his lowest since Jan. 24, 2016 against the Denver Broncos (56.4).

RB DERRICK HENRY

·         Rushed for 182 yards and one touchdown on 34 carries. His 182 rushing yards set the franchise's single-game postseason record, topping Eddie George's 162 yards at Indianapolis on Jan. 16, 2000. Henry now owns two of the top three rushing performances in franchise postseason history (156 at Kansas City on Jan. 6, 2018).

·         Rushed for the most yards in an NFL playoff game since Jan. 12, 2008, when Green Bay Packers running back Ryan Grant totaled 201 rushing yards against the Seattle Seahawks.

·         Rushed for the second-most yards on the road in an NFL playoff game since 1950. In that time, the only the New York Jets' Freeman McNeil had more in a road playoff game, with 202 yards at Cincinnati on Jan. 9, 1983.

·         Broke the franchise record for most rushing attempts in a game (34), eclipsing Eddie George's 29 carries against the Buffalo Bills on Jan. 8, 2000. His 34 rushing attempts were the most in any NFL playoff game since Seattle's Shaun Alexander had 34 carries against the Carolina Panthers on Jan. 22, 2006.

·         Added 22 yards on one reception to give him a franchise postseason record of 204 scrimmage yards. He broke his own record of 191 scrimmage yards (156 rushing, 35 receiving) at Kansas City on Jan. 6, 2018.

·         Produced the most scrimmage yards in a playoff game by any NFL player since wide receiver T.Y. Hilton had 224 yards for the Indianapolis Colts against the Kansas City Chiefs on Jan. 4, 2014.

·         Notched his seventh 100-yard rushing game of 2019 and his 12th career 100-yard rushing game, including playoffs. He recorded his second postseason game with at least 100 rushing yards (156 at Kansas City on Jan. 6, 2018), joining Eddie George (three) as the only players in franchise history with multiple career 100-yard rushing performances in the postseason.

·         Went over the 100-yard mark for the game on a nine-yard run in the second quarter. On the same drive, he added 22 yards on a screen pass and then scored a touchdown on a one-yard run. Henry accounted for all 75 yards on the scoring drive.

·         Recorded the most rushing yards in the first half of a playoff game in franchise history. His 106 yards in the first and second quarters topped the previous franchise high of 72 yards by Chris Johnson in the first half of a playoff game against Baltimore on Jan. 10, 2009. Henry registered the most rushing yards in the first half of an NFL playoff game since Seattle's Thomas Rawls rushed for 107 yards in the first half against the Detroit Lions on Jan. 7, 2017.

·         His 128 scrimmage yards in the first half were the most by an NFL player in the first half since Atlanta's Julio Jones had 135 scrimmage yards in the first half against the San Francisco 49ers on Jan. 20, 2013.

·         Improved his career postseason totals to 366 rushing yards on 69 attempts with two touchdowns. His rushing yardage total now ranks second in franchise playoff history, behind only Eddie George's 776 career postseason rushing yards and Earl Campbell's 420.

·         Became the eighth NFL player since 1950 with multiple postseason games with at least 150 rushing yards. He joined Terrell Davis (four), Marcus Allen (two), Le'Veon Bell (two), Eric Dickerson (two), Franco Harris (two), John Riggins (two) and Thurman Thomas (two).

TE ANTHONY FIRKSER

·         Led the team with 23 receiving yards on two receptions (tied for team lead) in his postseason debut.

·         Recorded a 12-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter. The catch, the first of his career in the playoffs, came on third down.

·         Converted a third-and-eight with an 11-yard reception late in the fourth quarter. The first down helped the Titans run off valuable time and helped force the Patriots to burn their final timeout.

·         Became the first NFL player from Harvard to score a touchdown in a postseason game.

P BRETT KERN

·         Averaged 45.8 gross yards and 42.0 net yards on six punts, including a postseason career-high four punts placed inside the 20.

·         Booted a 58-yard punt to the one-yard line in the final minute of play.

·         Pinned the Patriots on the seven-yard line with a 36-yard punt in the third quarter.

CB LOGAN RYAN

·         Recorded the third interception return for a touchdown in franchise history. With the Titans leading by one point, he picked off a Tom Brady pass and returned the ball nine yards for a touchdown with nine seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to seal the victory. He joined Vernon Perry (Jan. 6, 1980 at Pittsburgh) and Bubba McDowell (Jan. 3, 1993 at Buffalo) as the only players in team annals with a postseason pick-six.

·         Registered his second career NFL touchdown, including regular season and postseason games, and his first since a 79-yard interception return at the New York Jets as a rookie on Oct. 20, 2013.

QB RYAN TANNEHILL

·         Registered a win in his first career playoff game. The win improved his record with the Titans to 8-3 record since taking over as the starting quarterback in Week 7 of the regular season.

·         Completed eight passes for 72 yards and one touchdown on 15 attempts. He added four rushing attempts for 11 yards, including a pair of rushing first downs.

·         Completed a 12-yard touchdown pass to tight end Anthony Firkser in the first quarter.

·         Found Firkser again for a key 11-yard completion to convert a third-and-eight late in the fourth quarter.

The Tennessee Titans take on the New England Patriots in an AFC Wild Card playoff game at Gillette Stadium. (Photos: Donald Page)

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