Titans at Patriots final score: Derrick Henry obliterates New England, fuels massive upset in AFC wild card

The New England Patriots found themselves playing on Wild-Card Weekend for the first time in a decade after falling to the Dolphins in a stunning loss in Week 17. They welcomed an old friend into Gillette Stadium on Saturday in head coach Mike Vrabel, whose Tennessee Titans shocked the world by upsetting the defending Super Bowl champions with a final score of 20-13.

And with that, the future of both Tom Brady and Bill Belichick come into question. 

Both clubs were able to put up points on their first offensive drives of the night, but it was the Titans who reached the end zone first before both defenses appeared to clamp down as the first half rolled along. The Patriots mounted a long drive that tore chunks off of the clock as they approached the one-yard-line, threatening to tighten their grip on the lead. The Titans defense had other ideas, however, holding the Patriots out of the end zone and forcing them into a field goal instead. 

In the end, it was a back-and-forth game that turned into a back alley brawl and went down to the wire, but there could only be one victor.  

The Titans toppled the mighty Patriots and there's a lot to go over. Will Brinson is joined by the Pick Six Podcast Superfriends to break down all the playoff action from Saturday; listen below and be sure to subscribe for daily NFL goodness.

Why the Titans won

The simple answer here is grit and determination. The Patriots owned time of possession, total yardage, third down conversion and several other key categories for much of -- if not the entirety of -- the game, but they simply could not pull away from the scrappy Titans. New England had no answer whatsoever for running back Derrick Henry, the league leader in rushing racking up a monstrous 182 yards rushing and 204 total yards from scrimmage, to go along with a rushing touchdown in a game where points were at a premium. Henry owned the Patriots with no mortgage payment required, and might've singlehandedly ended that Patriots dynasty.

Why the Patriots lost

The defense did a number on quarterback Ryan Tannehill all night long, holding him to only 72 passing yards and one passing TD through four quarters, and also grabbed a key interception early in the fourth quarter with the Titans up 14-13. The Patriots couldn't capitalize though, after being forced to punt on the subsequent drive, and also failed to come up with a key forced fumble against Tannehill in the first half that also could've swung momentum in their favor. Those failures added to the dominance of Henry and a late-game pick-six by Tom Brady to end the Patriots season, and inject a mountain of questions regarding what will be the most unpredictable offseason in New England in a very long time.

Turning Point

With the Patriots threatening to score after a long drive that could've ended in them distancing themselves from the Titans, Vrabel's defense mounted up and stopped them short on the one-yard line. The result was another field goal for the Patriots, followed by a 75-yard drive entirely driven by Henry, capped by a Titans touchdown to take the lead and never look back.

Play of the Game

The longstanding rule of thumb is to never leave time for Brady to engineer a potential comeback, but Logan Ryan cares not for history -- only the present. After dropping a pick-six earlier in the game that could've truly put pressure on the Patriots, he made up for it in his mulligan attempt, intercepting Brady in the waning moments of the game (and his career in New England?) to nail the Patriots coffin closed.

The dynasty is dead

"[It's a] new era in football." - Jake Brown of NY Post

What's next

The Patriots will pack it in for 2019, but the Titans will ready themselves to face the potent Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Divisional Round.

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SAT 8:15 P
NE -4.5, o45
NE -4.5, O/U 45

Season Leaders

passing
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R. Tannehill 2387 YD, 22 TDS, 4 INTS
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R. Tannehill 2387 YD, 22 TDS, 4 INTS
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C. Newton 1900 YD, 4 TDS, 7 INTS
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C. Newton 1900 YD, 4 TDS, 7 INTS
rushing
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D. Henry 229 ATT, 1079 YD, 9 TDS
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D. Henry 229 ATT, 1079 YD, 9 TDS
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D. Harris 96 ATT, 514 YD, 2 TDS
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D. Harris 96 ATT, 514 YD, 2 TDS
receiving
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C. Davis 39 REC, 549 YD, 3 TDS
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C. Davis 39 REC, 549 YD, 3 TDS
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D. Byrd 32 REC, 469 YD, 1 TD
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D. Byrd 32 REC, 469 YD, 1 TD
Live updates
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@Patriots via Twitter
January 5, 2020, 4:36 AM
@Titans via Twitter
January 5, 2020, 4:28 AM

Tennessee advances to face the Ravens next week. Titans send the Patriots home after handing them a 20-13 defeat in their building. Thanks so much for following along everyone.

Former Patriots corner Logan Ryan with the pick six.

Brady throws a pick six and that's all she wrote.

Amazing punt by Tennessee. Downed at the 1. Patriots would need the miracle of all miracles to win. Doesn't seem likely.

They'd need a blocked punt or something like that to make a comeback feasible.

Patriots make the stop and will get the ball back with less than 30 seconds left and no timeouts.

New England needs a miracle.

Patriots call a timeout after forcing a third down attempt.

This is Derrick Henry time now. Just feed him and eat up clock.

Massive conversion by Tannehill. Heck of a throw that completely silenced Gillette Stadium. Everything is coming up Titans right now.

You could say this is a big third down for New England.

There's 3:10 to play and each club has all of their timeouts. Still plenty of time for this game to change, but something needs to happen quick if New England wants to pull away with this one.

After an incompletion to Phillip Dorsett on third down, Patriots will again punt it away.

Rare drop by Edelman comes at a very bad time.

If I'm Brady, this is a White-Edelman-White-Edelman type of drive.

Vrabel pulled a Belichick. I respect it.

OK so now it's just kinda funny lol

You're the underdog in New England and in their territory on fourth-and-4... and you... nvm.

Playing to lose.

I honestly would have just gone for it there if I was Mike Vrabel. Henry has been a monster and should be able to pick up three yards. If you don't get it, Patriots offense hasn't shown anything that says they'll be able to create much.

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