Patriots vs. Titans score: Kendrick Bourne catches two touchdowns as New England wins sixth straight

Tennessee Titans v New England Patriots
Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots have won six straight games and moved to 8-4 on the season after defeating the Tennessee Titans 36-13. This game was tightly contested for the bulk of the afternoon, even as Tennessee was missing key figures on the offensive side of the ball. New England held a 16-13 lead heading into the halftime locker room, but the defense was able to shut the door over the final two quarters. 

As has been the case during this streak, the Patriots' defense has proven to be extremely clutch. On a second-and-4 run in the third quarter, D'Onta Foreman ripped off a 30-yard run that was set to flip the field for Tennessee as they trailed by six. However, J.C. Jackson was able to punch the ball loose and Jalen Mills recovered to give the Patriots the ball back and eliminate a potential scoring opportunity. On the ensuing defensive possession, New England forced a three-and-out, which was then matched by a 56-yard touchdown drive by the offense. In all, the Patriots outscored the Titans 20-0 in the second half. 

Mac Jones finished with 310 yards and two touchdowns while completing 23 of his 32 passes. Both of those touchdowns were to Kendrick Bourne, who also caught five of his six targets for 61 yards. Meanwhile, Ryan Tannehill went 11 of 21 passing for 91 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Running back Dontrell Hilliard led the Titans with 131 yards rushing, most of that coming on a 68-yard touchdown run just prior to halftime. 

To read more about how this game unfolded, check out our main takeaways below. 

Why the Patriots won

New England's defense continues to be the story for the Patriots in the midst of this six-game winning streak. While Tennessee was able to linger around throughout the first half, they were able to slam the door shut over the final two quarters. For the fourth consecutive week, the Patriots held their opponent to zero second-half points and forced three turnovers over that stretch. Not only was it dominating, but it was clutch play by New England as they put together plays that directly took points off the board for Tennessee. The unit was able to force a fumble that negated a long run by D'Onta Foreman and later picked off Ryan Tannehill iin the end zone after the Titans moved the ball all the way to the Patriots 2-yard line. 

Offensively, Mac Jones was efficient enough to get the win and seems to be increasingly more comfortable with deep passes as he threw for 310 yards and two touchdowns (both going to Kendrick Bourne). That said, there were opportunities left on the table for New England as they were two for five in the red zone. It was a solid win all around, but the Patriots still have a higher ceiling they can reach, which is a scary proposition for the rest of the conference.

Why the Titans lost

Had Tennessee not suffered as many self-inflicted mistakes as they did, there was a path to come out of Foxborough with the win. Throughout the first half, the Titans were able to hang around and trail by just three points at the break. However, they arguably only trailed by their own undoing. Out of the gate, special teams penalties on the opening kickoff and then on an ensuing fourth-down punt on the opening possession gave the Patriots the football on the Titans 37-yard line, which they proceeded to cash in with a Kendrick Bourne touchdown. 

Even after giving up that touchdown, Tennessee was able to start matching the Patriots scoring output, but a missed PAT and missed field goal by Randy Bullock kept the Titans playing catch up. Then, the wheels fell off in the second half as they coughed the football up three times and were shut out on offense as the Patriots scored 20 points. 

Turning point

The big swing in this game came just as the clock ticked under the 8-minute mark of the third quarter. The Patriots offense was unable to take advantage of a forced fumble as they punted the ball away in deflating fashion after just five plays that traveled four yards. However, the defense was able to keep up its clutch play as they quickly forced a three-and-out against Tennessee that gave the ball back to the offense after just 67 seconds. 

This time, Mac Jones and company would drive 56 yards down the field for a touchdown. That was largely made up of Bourne's 41-yard score -- his second of the day. 

That extended the Patriots lead to 13 points and was effectively the back-breaking moment for Tennessee. 

Play of the game

J.C. Jackson is known as "Mr. INT" but his forced fumble was the hustle play of the game. Foreman was in the midst of ripping off a massive 30-yard run on Tennessee's opening possession of the second half that was set to flip the field in their favor. However, as he moved down the sideline, Jackson was able to catch up to Foreman and punch the ball loose, forcing a fumble with Jalen Mills recovering. That was Jackson's first forced turnover of the day and also added yet another interception to his collection for the year as he picked off Tannehill in the end zone to begin the fourth quarter.   

What's next 

From here, the Patriots will head to Buffalo to play the Bills on "Monday Night Football." As for the Titans, they enter their Week 13 bye and wait to face the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 14 down in Nashville. 

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J.C. Jackson = clutch

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Second of the day for Kendrick Bourne! He connects with Jones for a 41-yard touchdown to break this game open. Nice concentration by Bourne to keep his feet in bounds.

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New England's defense once again comes up in the clutch. A much-need three-and-out to give the ball back to the offense.

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