Behind Enemy Lines

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Behind Enemy Lines: A Quick Look at the New England Patriots


NASHVILLE – The Titans face the New England Patriots on Sunday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

Here's a quick look at the Patriots:

Record: 7-4.

Points for/against: 27.3/16.1.


Offense: 17th overall, 351.8 ypg (14th rushing, 17th passing).

Defense: 3rd overall, 313.2 ypg (8th rushing, 6th passing).


Head coach: Bill Belichick.


QB: Mac Jones (245-of-349, 2,540 yards, 14 TDs, 8 INTs, 94.7.

Top RB: Damien Harris (143 rush, 603 yards, 7 TDs).

Top WRs: Jakobi Meyers (54 catches, 522 yards, 1 TD), Kendrick Bourne (37 catches, 562 yards, 3 TDs), Nelson Agholor (29 catches, 396 yards, 3 TDs).

Top TEs: Hunter Henry (33 catches, 378 yards, 7 TDs), Jonnu Smith (22 catches, 210 yards, 1 TD).


Sacks: LB Matthew Judon (10.5).

Leading tackler: DB Kyle Dugger (66).

Interceptions: CB J.C. Jackson (3).

Take/Give: +6 (21/15).

Kicker: Nick Folk (26-of-28 FGs, 26-of-30 PATs).

Punter: Jake Bailey (48.5, 40.8).

Last meeting: January 4, 2020: Titans 20, Patriots 13 (WC).

Of note:

-Patriots tight end Jonnu Smith was originally drafted by the Titans in the third round of the 2017 and he played four seasons with the team.

-Patriots LB Dont'a Hightower grew up in Lewisburg, Tennessee, and played at Marshall County High School.

-Patriots offensive lineman Shaq Mason is a native of Columbia, Tennessee, and he attended Columbia High School.

-Patriots cornerback Joejuan Williams is a native of Nashville who attended Father Ryan High School and played at Vanderbilt.

-Patriots GM Jon Robinson spent 12 seasons with the Patriots, including his last five years (2009-13) there as director of college scouting.

-Titans head coach Mike Vrabel played 125 games in eight seasons with the Patriots , earning three Super Bowl victories (2001, 2003 and 2004).

-Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was born in Nashville. His father, Steve, was as assistant coach at Vanderbilt.

Injury Report

-Punter Jack Bailey (rt. knee)

-DL Christian Barmore (knee)

-LB Ja'Whaun Bentley (ribs)

-T Trent Brown (calf)

-K Nick Folk (left knee)

-RB Damien Harris (neck)

-TE Hunter Henry (neck)

-LB Don't'a Hightower (ankle)

-G Shaq Mason (abdomen)

-TE Jonnu Smith (shoulder)

-LB Kyle Van Noy (groin)

Titans head coach Mike Vrabel …

(on the challenge of playing in New England)

The tradition and history is not going to win or lose the game for anybody. I think we all know where the banners are and the success that organization has had over the last 20 years. What will win or lose the game is playing sound, fundamental football, taking care of the football, penalties, playing with great technique. That is really what they have done, and it has been impressive the last five weeks.

(on Patriots quarterback Mac Jones)

He is well-coached. I think he is talented. I think he really has a great grasp of their offense, they have been able to run the football. Playing on short fields lately, not taking a ton of chances, but when it is there down the field, he has been accurate. They have just been playing very complementary. The play action game is set up very well. Protection has been what you would expect it to be. I think that is really what the product is from what I have seen.

(on the Patriots defensive players and how well they are doing this year)

They are good players. They are very good up front with technique, the technique in which they play. The linebackers are physical. The guys on the edge, whether that is (Matthew) Judon or (Kyle) Van Noy, (Jamie) Collins (Sr.) when he was in there, they ask them to rush, they ask them to cover and to set the edge. Secondary is physical. They reroute players and taking advantage of overthrows and taking advantage of mistakes by the opposing offenses.

(on what he learned during his time at New England)

There are a lot of things that we do, that I do, on a personal basis and on a coaching basis - how I try to help Tyler (Vrabel) or Carter (Vrabel). I learned a lot in eight years there whether that be from Bill (Belichick), assistant coaches, Mr. (Robert) Kraft, the players. I learned a lot from the players and teammates. You have good experiences throughout life and try to take some of those things with you as you move on.

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