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Patriots beat Titans 35-14 to head back to AFC title game

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) First, the Patriots tuned out a week full of off-field drama. Then, they silenced the Titans to earn yet another trip to the AFC championship game.

Tom Brady passed for three touchdowns and 337 yards, and New England cruised past Tennessee 35-14 on Saturday night to advance to their seventh consecutive conference title game.

New England (14-3) will host the winner of Sunday's divisional matchup between Jacksonville and Pittsburgh.

It was Brady's 10th career postseason game with at least three TD tosses, moving him past Joe Montana for the most in NFL history. James White caught a touchdown pass and ran for another, and Danny Amendola had 11 catches for 112 yards.

New England's victory came on the heels of a week filled with turmoil following reports of discord involving Brady, coach Bill Belichick and team owner Robert Kraft.

None of that showed on the field Saturday.

''I've been around long enough,'' Brady said. ''So, 18 years, there's so many nice things said about me. It just goes with the territory.''

The Titans (10-8) took an early 7-0 lead, but New England scored 35 straight points to take control.

Marcus Mariota completed 22 of 37 passes for 254 yards and two touchdowns, but was under duress for most of the second half. He was sacked eight times, a Patriots playoff record.

Coach Mike Mularkey said after the game his quarterback strained a quadriceps in the first quarter.

''It had an impact,'' Mularkey said. ''We had to get out of some of our scheme with him.''

New England also held Derrick Henry to just 28 yards rushing on 12 carries.

The Titans came back from an 18-point deficit in the second half to beat the Chiefs 22-21 in the wild-card round last week - the largest comeback on the road in the Super Bowl era. But the Patriots didn't give them a chance for an encore.

Leading 14-7, the Patriots stretched their lead to 14 just before halftime thanks to a trio of careless penalties on the Titans.

Tennessee initially forced a three-and-out, but gave up a first down via a fourth-and-5 neutral zone infraction on Brynden Trawick before New England's punt attempt.

Armed with a new set of downs, Brady went to work moving the Patriots down the field with a steady diet of short passes. The Titans helped along the way with illegal contact and unnecessary roughness penalties. It eventually culminated in a 4-yard TD pass from Brady to Chris Hogan in the back of the end zone that made it 21-7.

Brady threw a short shovel pass to White, who ran it in from the 5-yard line to make it 7-7 early in the second quarter.

The Patriots appeared to have a touchdown three plays earlier, when Dion Lewis caught a pass from Brady and was tackled by Wesley Woodyard at the 19. Lewis landed on top of the defender, then got up and continued to the end zone.

The officials initially ruled that he had never been down and called it a touchdown. But replays showed Lewis' butt hit the ground at the 19.

Corey Davis made a one-handed catch on a 15-yard pass from Mariota in the corner of the end zone to give the Titans a 7-0 lead. Mariota had a pair of 11-yard runs to help set up the score.

Davis added an 11-yard TD reception with 1:55 left in the game - and the Titans' season.

INJURIES

Titans: Right tackle Jack Conklin walked off on his own power after injuring a knee in the first quarter. He did not return. ... Tight end Jonnu Smith was carted off in the third quarter with a right leg injury.

Patriots: Right tackle LaAdrian Waddle left with a knee injury early in the third quarter. ... Cornerback Jonathan Jones was helped off the field late in the fourth quarter.

UNFORCED ERRORS

The Titans had 85 penalties in the regular season - the second-fewest in the NFL.

They were flagged 10 times for 62 yards on Saturday, just the second time they had 10 or more this season.

MOVING ON UP

Gronkowski finished with six catches for 81 yards and touchdown. It was his 10th career postseason TD. He's tied with five others for third all-time. But it's the most for a tight end.

Gronk also moved into second all-time for a tight end with 835 postseason receiving yards. He passed Keith Jackson, and only Dallas Clark is ahead of him.

UP NEXT

The Patriots will play the winner of Sunday's matchup between the Jaguars and Steelers in the AFC championship game.

---

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Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
M. Mariota 8 QB
254 PaYds, 2 PaTDs, 37 RuYds
25
FPTS
T. Brady 12 QB
337 PaYds, 3 PaTDs, 2 RuYds
31
FPTS
Scoring Summary
4th Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 1:55
4-R.Succop extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
14
35
Touchdown 1:55
8-M.Mariota complete to 84-C.Davis. 84-C.Davis runs 11 yards for a touchdown.
16
plays
80
yds
03:53
pos
13
35
Point After TD 10:22
3-S.Gostkowski extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
7
35
Touchdown 10:22
12-T.Brady complete to 87-R.Gronkowski. 87-R.Gronkowski runs 4 yards for a touchdown.
15
plays
90
yds
02:01
pos
7
34
3rd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 4:02
3-S.Gostkowski extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
7
28
Touchdown 4:02
38-B.Bolden runs 2 yards for a touchdown.
9
plays
56
yds
04:20
pos
7
27
2nd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 1:52
3-S.Gostkowski extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
7
21
Touchdown 1:52
12-T.Brady complete to 15-C.Hogan. 15-C.Hogan runs 4 yards for a touchdown.
18
plays
91
yds
05:18
pos
7
20
Point After TD 9:20
3-S.Gostkowski extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
7
14
Touchdown 9:20
28-J.White runs 6 yards for a touchdown.
6
plays
48
yds
01:56
pos
7
13
Point After TD 13:18
3-S.Gostkowski extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
7
7
Touchdown 13:18
12-T.Brady complete to 28-J.White. 28-J.White runs 5 yards for a touchdown.
7
plays
73
yds
01:06
pos
7
6
1st Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 1:14
4-R.Succop extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
7
0
Touchdown 1:14
8-M.Mariota complete to 84-C.Davis. 84-C.Davis runs 15 yards for a touchdown.
11
plays
95
yds
05:17
pos
6
0
Team Stats
Time of Pos 27:04 32:56
1st Downs 15 31
Rushing 3 8
Passing 11 20
Penalty 1 3
3rd Down Conv 5-15 11-17
4th Down Conv 2-3 0-0
Total Net Yards 267 438
Total Plays 61 80
Avg Gain 4.4 5.5
Net Yards Rushing 65 101
Rush Attempts 16 27
Avg Rush Yards 4.1 3.7
Net Yards Passing 202 337
Comp. - Att. 22-37 35-53
Yards Per Pass 5.5 6.4
Sacked - Yards Lost 8-52 0-0
Penalties - Yards 10-62 4-37
Touchdowns 2 5
Rushing TDs 0 2
Passing TDs 2 3
Other 0 0
Turnovers 0 0
Fumbles - Lost 0-0 0-0
Int. Thrown 0 0
Punts - Avg 7-45.1 4-42.3
Return Yards 83 54
Punts - Returns 1-0 3-27
Kickoffs - Returns 4-83 1-27
Int. - Returns 0-0 0-0
Kicking 2/2 5/6
Extra Points 2/2 5/5
Field Goals 0/0 0/1
Red Zone Eff. 2-2 -100% 5-5 -100%
Goal to Go Eff. 0-0 -0% 0-0 -0%
Safeties 0 0
1234T
Titans 10-8 700714
Patriots 14-3 0217735
202 PASS YDS 337
65 RUSH YDS 101
267 TOTAL YDS 438
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT FPTS
M. Mariota 8 QB
25
FPTS
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
59.5% 254 2 0 98.3
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
61.8% 3486 15 15 80.7
M. Mariota 22/37 254 2 0 25
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG FPTS
M. Mariota 8 QB
25
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
4 37 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
64 349 5
M. Mariota 4 37 0 11 25
D. Henry 22 RB
4
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
12 28 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
188 772 5
D. Henry 12 28 0 4 4
Receiving TAR REC YDS TD LG FPTS
E. Decker 87 WR
8
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
7 6 85 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 60 648 1
E. Decker 7 6 85 0 22 8
C. Davis 84 WR
18
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
8 5 63 2
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 39 438 2
C. Davis 8 5 63 2 17 18
D. Walker 82 TE
4
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
6 3 49 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 77 856 3
D. Walker 6 3 49 0 36 4
R. Matthews 18 WR
2
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
8 3 27 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 56 822 4
R. Matthews 8 3 27 0 12 2
D. Henry 22 RB
4
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
4 3 21 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 14 157 1
D. Henry 4 3 21 0 14 4
T. Taylor 13 WR
0
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
3 1 5 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 17 236 1
T. Taylor 3 1 5 0 5 0
J. Smith 81 TE
0
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
1 1 4 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 19 161 2
J. Smith 1 1 4 0 4 0
Defense T-A SACK INT FF
L. Ryan 26 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
10-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
60-14 0 0.0
L. Ryan 10-2 0.0 0 0
K. Byard 31 FS
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
9-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
71-26 8 0.0
K. Byard 9-1 0.0 0 0
W. Woodyard 59 ILB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
7-4 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
91-44 0 5.0
W. Woodyard 7-4 0.0 0 0
J. Cyprien 37 SS
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
6-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
44-20 0 1.0
J. Cyprien 6-1 0.0 0 0
S. Williams 96 NT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
16-9 0 0.0
S. Williams 4-1 0.0 0 0
A. Williamson 54 ILB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-5 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
56-45 0 3.0
A. Williamson 4-5 0.0 0 0
T. Smith 33 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
17-5 1 0.0
T. Smith 3-0 0.0 0 0
J. Casey 99 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
43-20 0 6.0
J. Casey 2-1 0.0 0 0
E. Walden 93 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
27-11 0 4.0
E. Walden 2-0 0.0 0 0
A. Jackson 25 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
63-10 0 0.0
A. Jackson 2-1 0.0 0 0
A. Johnson 94 NT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
17-9 0 1.0
A. Johnson 2-0 0.0 0 0
D. Morgan 91 OLB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
17-16 0 7.0
D. Morgan 1-0 0.0 0 0
D. Bates 53 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
8-1 0 0.0
D. Bates 1-0 0.0 0 0
B. Orakpo 98 OLB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
31-15 0 7.0
B. Orakpo 1-1 0.0 0 0
D. Searcy 21 SS
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
16-11 1 0.0
D. Searcy 1-0 0.0 0 0
J. Brown 55 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
39-14 0 1.0
J. Brown 1-0 0.0 0 0
P. Supernaw 89 TE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-1 0 0.0
P. Supernaw 1-1 0.0 0 0
B. Brinkley 48 LS
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
B. Brinkley 0-1 0.0 0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
R. Succop 4 K
2
FPTS
IN-GAME FG XP
0/0 2/2
SEASON FG XP
35/42 33/35
R. Succop 0/0 0 2/2 2
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
B. Kern 6 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
7 45.1 2
SEASON NO AVG IN20
82 49.3 30
B. Kern 7 45.1 2 62
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
A. Jackson 25 CB
0
FPTS
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
4 20.8 25 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
29 22.8 57 0
A. Jackson 4 20.8 25 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
A. Jackson 25 CB
0
FPTS
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 0.0 0 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
35 8.3 46 0
A. Jackson 1 0.0 0 0
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT FPTS
T. Brady 12 QB
31
FPTS
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
66% 337 3 0 102.5
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
66.2% 4914 35 8 102.7
T. Brady 35/53 337 3 0 31
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG FPTS
D. Lewis 33 RB
13
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
15 62 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
195 958 6
D. Lewis 15 62 0 10 13
B. Bolden 38 RB
8
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
4 27 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
17 94 1
B. Bolden 4 27 1 20 8
J. White 28 RB
15
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
4 11 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
47 182 1
J. White 4 11 1 6 15
T. Brady 12 QB
31
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 2 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
26 30 0
T. Brady 1 2 0 2 31
B. Hoyer 2 QB
0
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
3 -1 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
12 3 1
B. Hoyer 3 -1 0 0 0
Receiving TAR REC YDS TD LG FPTS
D. Amendola 80 WR
11
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
13 11 112 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 72 771 2
D. Amendola 13 11 112 0 25 11
R. Gronkowski 87 TE
14
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
9 6 81 1
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 75 1165 9
R. Gronkowski 9 6 81 1 27 14
D. Lewis 33 RB
13
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
10 9 79 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 41 293 3
D. Lewis 10 9 79 0 31 13
B. Cooks 14 WR
3
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
9 3 32 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 68 1114 7
B. Cooks 9 3 32 0 13 3
J. White 28 RB
15
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
7 4 29 1
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 60 458 4
J. White 7 4 29 1 14 15
C. Hogan 15 WR
6
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
4 1 4 1
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 35 443 6
C. Hogan 4 1 4 1 4 6
J. Hollister 47 TE
0
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
1 1 0 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 5 42 0
J. Hollister 1 1 0 0 0 0
Defense T-A SACK INT FF
M. Butler 21 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
59-5 2 1.0
M. Butler 4-0 0.0 0 0
E. Rowe 25 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
18-2 0 0.0
E. Rowe 4-1 0.0 0 0
M. Flowers 59 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
29-7 0 4.0
M. Flowers 4-0 1.0 0 0
P. Chung 23 SS
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
74-15 1 0.0
P. Chung 3-2 0.0 0 0
D. McCourty 32 FS
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
83-18 1 1.0
D. McCourty 3-1 0.0 0 0
J. Harrison 92 OLB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
9-2 0 3.0
J. Harrison 3-0 0.0 0 0
T. Flowers 98 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
48-17 0 7.0
T. Flowers 3-0 1.0 0 0
J. Jones 31 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
41-5 1 1.0
J. Jones 2-0 0.0 0 0
G. Grissom 96 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 2.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 2.0
G. Grissom 2-0 2.0 0 0
K. Van Noy 53 OLB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
60-15 0 5.0
K. Van Noy 2-0 0.0 0 0
D. Wise 91 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 2.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
18-10 0 7.0
D. Wise 2-0 2.0 0 0
L. Guy 93 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
36-24 0 1.0
L. Guy 2-0 0.0 0 0
E. Roberts 52 OLB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
47-22 0 2.0
E. Roberts 2-0 0.0 0 0
N. Grigsby 50 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-1 0 0.0
N. Grigsby 1-0 0.0 0 0
A. Butler 70 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
12-8 0 3.0
A. Butler 1-0 1.0 0 0
E. Lee 55 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
11-9 1 3.0
E. Lee 1-0 0.0 0 0
M. Slater 18 WR
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
7-1 0 0.0
M. Slater 1-0 0.0 0 0
R. Jean Francois 94 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
8-5 0 1.0
R. Jean Francois 1-0 1.0 0 0
B. King 36 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
7-2 0 0.0
B. King 1-0 0.0 0 0
S. Gilmore 24 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
47-4 2 0.0
S. Gilmore 0-1 0.0 0 0
M. Brown 90 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
29-22 0 2.0
M. Brown 0-2 0.0 0 0
J. Richards 37 SS
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
23-4 0 0.0
J. Richards 0-1 0.0 0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
S. Gostkowski 3 K
5
FPTS
IN-GAME FG XP
0/1 5/5
SEASON FG XP
37/41 50/52
S. Gostkowski 0/1 0 5/5 5
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
R. Allen 6 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
4 42.3 2
SEASON NO AVG IN20
62 43.3 26
R. Allen 4 42.3 2 57
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
D. Lewis 33 RB
13
FPTS
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 27.0 27 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
24 24.9 103 1
D. Lewis 1 27.0 27 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
D. Amendola 80 WR
11
FPTS
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
3 9.0 12 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
30 8.6 40 0
D. Amendola 3 9.0 12 0
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
12:37 TEN 8 3:12 5 13 Punt
6:31 TEN 5 5:17 11 95 TD
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
13:13 TEN 21 1:50 4 6 Punt
9:11 TEN 22 1:54 4 30 Punt
1:52 TEN 25 1:27 9 34 Downs
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:56 TEN 25 2:15 4 8 Punt
10:36 TEN 23 2:09 4 -2 Punt
3:55 TEN 36 1:27 4 -1 Punt
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
10:22 TEN 25 2:09 6 14 Punt
5:48 TEN 20 3:53 16 80 TD
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 NE 25 2:17 6 27 Punt
9:12 NE 34 2:31 6 20 Punt
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
1:07 NE 27 1:06 7 73 TD
11:16 TEN 48 1:56 6 48 TD
7:10 NE 9 5:18 18 91 TD
0:17 TEN 49 0:16 3 14 Halftime
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
12:30 NE 25 1:44 5 16 Punt
8:22 NE 44 4:20 9 56 TD
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
2:20 NE 10 2:01 15 90 TD
8:06 NE 22 2:09 4 21 Punt
1:54 TEN 38 1:18 3 -1 Game