View from Foxborough: When it comes to bouncing back, Stephon Gilmore has it covered

As we head toward Titans-Patriots, we'll do a bit of sharing with Boston Sports Journal, another independent site. Greg Bedard is the site's columnist/Patriots analyst, editor and owner.

By GREG BEDARD

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- We all know what we saw on Sunday against the Dolphins. Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore, the self-professed best corner in the game and contender for NFL Defensive Player of the Year, was picked on by Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Dolphins to the tune of 119 yards and a 77.8 completion percentage with a bye on the line Sunday.GilmoreBSJ

And that’s bad news for the Titans heading into the wild-card game.

Wait … what?

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When the Titans' offense became the Titans' offense

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans’ turnaround, from hard-to-watch 2-4 dud to high-flying, must-watch 9-7 playoff qualifier has been a terrific story.

I wanted to find the play that turned it, and I figured it would require some serious digging.

There was a lot that went into the flip once Ryan Tannehill took over as the starting quarterback and started the work that amounted to the best stretch of offense in the franchise’s Tennessee history.TannehillStartedIt

Alas, the search was pretty simple. Start at the very beginning and stop right there.

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Scout's Take: Looking at Titans-Patriots from every angle

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special contributor

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Patriots QB Tom Brady is arguably the best in NFL history. But this season he has started to show tendencies that defenses can use against him.

Brady does not want to take hits anymore. He will take a non-hit sack by falling down to avoid contact, he will throw the ball away quickly under immediate pressure or check down to a receiver short of the first down to get the ball out of his hand.LandryChaseBrady

This does not indicate that Brady isn’t tough, because he is tough, but he has become savvier in his last few years to avoid hits.

The Titans must put pressure on the QB to force him into these mistakes.

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In Derrick Henry, A.J. Brown and Jonnu Smith, Titans have a trio no one wants to tackle

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Boom, boom, boom.

As the Titans deliver big blow plays on offense, they’ve done a large share of it with three guys who can deliver big blows.BrownCelebrateSaints

Derrick Henry, A.J. Brown and Jonnu Smith bring size-and speed combinations that many teams covet and they are a trio defenses can’t be especially eager to tackle, particularly late in a game if the Titans are having success.

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View from Foxborough: Ten things Titans' fans should know about the Patriots

As we head toward Titans-Patriots, we'll do a bit of sharing with Boston Sports Journal, another independent site. Greg Bedard is the site's columnist/Patriots analyst, editor and owner.

By GREG BEDARD

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Hello there, Titans fans. It almost feels like y'all are cousins considering all the connections between the two teams, so Patriots fans are looking forward to this week's family reunion — but with some trepidation. Yes, we know all about what the Titans have done since replacing Marcus Mariota with Ryan Tannehill, but Patriots fans have a long history with Tanny and that will bring a little confidence. Here are 10 things you need to know — a state of the team, if you will — about these Patriots heading into Saturday night's showdown.

1. These aren't the Patriots you're used to: New England's teams in the past have been known to get off to slow starts but gradually build through the course of the season to the point that they're humming heading into the postseason. That is not the case this year. After starting 8-0 against what turned out to be the league's weakest schedule, the Patriots have gone just 4-4, and beaten only two teams — the Bills (10-6) and Eagles (9-7) — with winning records.

BradyBSJ

Now, that being said, the Patriots were worse in many ways last season — they were just 3-5 on the road and lost back-to-back games to non-playoff teams in the Steelers and Dolphins in December — and the Patriots still went on to win the Super Bowl.

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Ten things Patriots' fans should know about the Titans

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Greetings, fans of the Patriots. I know you are used to watching others play this weekend. Sorry to disturb you with information regarding an opponent who's coming to the area and forcing the guys to turn on the lights at Gillette Stadium Saturday evening. Greg Bedard of Boston Sports Journal and I are swapping some pieces this week and we thought these would be a good idea, so...

Here are 10 things a Patriots' fan should know about the Titans, that a Titans' fan might enjoy reviewing too…

1) Ryan Tannehill’s been outrageous

Tannehill is one of just three quarterbacks in NFL history to finish a season with a completion percentage of over 70 percent and a yard per attempt over 9.0.TannehillThrowBehind

Only Joe Montana and Sammy Baugh have done it before Tannehill did it this season after taking over for Marcus Mariota in Week 7.

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View from Foxborough: Sink or swim, Patrick Chung a key factor for Patriots down the stretch

As we head toward Titans-Patriots, we'll do a bit of sharing with Boston Sports Journal, another independent site. Greg Bedard is the site's columnist/Patriots analyst, editor and owner.

By GREG BEDARD

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- In the Patriots’ Second (Patrick) Chung Dynasty, the veteran safety has obviously played a key in the team’s defense. They basically created a new position for him as mostly a linebacker with coverage responsibilities against the opponent’s top tight end after his free-agent failure with the Eagles.Chung

The move was a revelation for the defense, and it revitalized Chung’s career. He never displayed the instincts to play in space as a traditional strong safety, so the Patriots brought him closer to the line and allowed his skills as an attacking player to take over.

It’s largely been sweet music. Chung has become one of Bill Belichick’s favorite players, and he’s taken over Jerod Mayo’s role as the one player who constantly gets taken care of with his contract (Chung, 32, is still signed for another two years — unheard of at a contact position).

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Titans' opportunity: Show they use a Two-Tone Blueprint, not the Patriot Way

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans and Patriots are separated by over 1,000 miles and six Lombardi Trophies.

While Tennessee and everyone in the NFL would like to model New England’s success, and while the Titans have some Patriots DNA we’d think connects them, two of the Nashville guys with strong ties to New England will tell you those ties aren’t so strong anymore.BradySackedPatriots

Logan Ryan’s been playing Nashville for three seasons, just a year less than he played for the Patriots. And Mike Vrabel may have suited up for the Pats for eight seasons and won three rings, but he was quick to point out his utter lack of sentiment for the franchise as soon as the Titans-Patriots playoff matchup was set.

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