New England Patriots Blitz for Six: Tennessee is coming to town

KANSAS CITY, MO - JANUARY 06: Quarterback Marcus Mariota
KANSAS CITY, MO - JANUARY 06: Quarterback Marcus Mariota /

The New England Patriots are set to host old friend Logan Ryan and the Tennessee Titans Saturday night in a divisional round matchup at Gillette Stadium. 

Following a very eventful week off the field, the New England Patriots now know who they will face on the field in the AFC divisional round game.

With the Jacksonville Jaguars defeating the Buffalo Bills 10-3 on Sunday in the second AFC wild card game, the No. 5 seed Tennessee Titans will be invading Gillette Stadium Saturday night.

Led by quarterback Marcus Mariota, the Titans spoiled the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl dreams with a 22-21 come from behind victory at Arrowhead stadium.  The victory was not only shocking, but Tennessee did it in one of the more hostile environments in all the NFL.  They will have an even taller task knocking off the defending Super Bowl champions in a place they have dominated in for so many years in the playoffs.

As for the Patriots, they will have to not only have to match the toughness and physicality of the Titans, they will also have to stop running back Derrick Henry, who ran for 156 yards and a touchdown against the Chiefs on Saturday.

Along with stopping the run, they will have to limit the pass catching trio of tight end Delanie Walker and wide receivers Rishard Matthews and Eric Decker.

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On offense, Tom Brady and crew will look to get things clicking once again.  With the possible healthy returns of wide receiver Chris Hogan and running backs Rex Burkhead and James White, the New England Patriots offense could have their full array of offensive weapons available for the first time in a very long time.

The return of Logan Ryan

The divisional round matchup with the Tennessee Titans also means the return of former New England Patriots cornerback Logan Ryan.

The University of Rutgers alum spent four NFL seasons in New England because signing a three-year, $30 million deal with the Titans.  After winning two Super Bowls with the team that drafted him, Ryan said before Saturday’s wild card game against the Chiefs that it would be cool to face his old team.

"“It would be cool, obviously a lot of fun:  familiar faces, playoff game,” Ryan said, via ESPN.  “I probably talk to Devin and Duron every day; we’re still in the same group chat.  They wish me luck before every game, and I always root for them to do well.  When you sacrifice with those guys like we did, they’re your brothers for life.”"

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Now that the Ryan’s new team will be facing off against his old team, he won’t be rooting for his brothers for one week.