NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After knocking off the Cowboys on Monday night, the Titans have turned their attention to an even bigger challenge – facing the New England Patriots, and quarterback Tom Brady.
“It’s a big opportunity,” Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota said on Wednesday. “We have a chance to continue to build off what we have done, and it’s the next opponent in our season, and we’re looking forward to it.”
Mariota delivered a winning performance on Monday night, completing 21-of-29 passes for 240 yards and two touchdowns in the team’s 28-14 win over the Dallas Cowboys.
Mariota also ran for a nine-yard touchdown late, as the Titans sealed it, and improved to 4-4 heading into Sunday's contest at Nissan Stadium.
Mariota and the Titans lost to the Patriots in the playoffs in January, although the quarterback acknowledged things have changed dramatically since.
The Patriots enter the Week 10 contest ranked 24th in the NFL in total defense (yards), but they’re 11th in points allowed.
“It’s going to be different,” Mariota said. “(With the Patriots) you really are not sure what you are going to get. They do a good job of mixing fronts and coverages, and just doing a lot of different things. So we have to prepare for everything, and just make sure we are on our details.
“… (Defensively) they’ve created a bunch of (turnovers), and they’ve created short field position for their offense. They’ve even scored a couple of times. So when you have a defense that is kind of ball-hawking and kind of finding ways to create turnovers you have to really be on your stuff and making sure you are taking care of the ball.”
The Titans know what they’ll see on defense with Brady, a 13-time Pro Bowler and five-time champion, at the helm.
On Wednesday, Mariota talked about the respect he has for the future Hall of Famer.
“(What he has done) is incredible, and you have to give him a whole lot of credit,” Mariota said of Brady. “No.1, taking care of his body, 2, just being passionate and dedicated to his craft and always finding ways to improve.
“He’s done an incredible job and I think he has kind of laid the blueprint out for a lot of young guys. … When you are playing into your 40s I think it says a lot about how he is taking care of his body, how he has done it. Because the lifespan in the NFL is so short, so for him to exceed that and more says a lot about what he has done.”
Series Flashback: Titans vs. Patriots
TitansOnline.com looks back at the all-time series against the New England Patriots. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)