Is this the end of an era? That will be the question in the coming weeks (and perhaps months) after the New England Patriots lost 20-13 at home to the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Wild Card round on Saturday.
It’s very possible this was Tom Brady’s last game in the NFL (or maybe just with the Patriots- he’s an unrestricted free agent). And if so, it would be a rough way to go out. Brady — who turns 43 in August — had a 59.4 passer rating on the day, and threw a pick-six on his final pass (though it was largely meaningless, and may have actually boosted the Patriots’ chances in the moment).
Then again, Tennessee quarterback Ryan Tannehill looked even worse, completing 8-of-15 passes for 72 yards (4.8 AVG), one touchdown, and one interception. But Tannehill was fortuante to have a ridiculous running back on his side.
Derrick Henry followed up his remarkable NFL rushing title-clinching performance in Week 17 with another incredible effort to lead the Titans to a playoff victory. Henry had 34 carries for 182 yards and one touchdown, and added one reception for 22 yards.
Derrick Henry gained every yard on Tennessee’s 75-yard TD drive😦
He’s on a different level.
— PFF (@PFF) January 5, 2020
– Became the first player with 200 scrimmage yards against a Belichick-coached Patriots team in a playoff game
– Set the franchise record for scrimmage yards in a playoff game
Today is his 26th birthday. pic.twitter.com/yYtKirCJzb
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 5, 2020
Derrick Henry's ability to create yards in traffic was key to the Titans offensive success:@KingHenry_2 gained 167 rushing yards after a defender closed within 1 yard, the most by a RB in a playoff game in the Next Gen Stats era (since 2016).#TENvsNE | Powered by @awscloud pic.twitter.com/ntRbfvvrZC
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) January 5, 2020
That’s a pretty nice way for Henry to celebrate his birthday.
Derrick Henry on his 26th birthday:
— ESPN (@espn) January 5, 2020
Next week gets much more difficult for the Titans, with a road game against Lamar Jackson and the Ravens in Baltimore. The Ravens open as 8.5-point favorites.
AFC Divisional Round opening lines from Caesars Sportsbook:
Ravens -8.5 vs. Titans
Chiefs -9.5 vs. Texans
— Ben Fawkes (@BFawkesESPN) January 5, 2020