BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots are turning the page from Sunday’s embarrassing loss to the Miami Dolphins and quickly locking in their focus on Wild Card weekend. The Patriots would love to be gearing up for a bye week, but instead they’re now gearing up for a playoff matchup with the Tennessee Titans.
The Pats don’t have much time to dwell on their loss to the Dolphins, not with a short week to get ready for Saturday night’s playoff tilt. Kyle Van Noy said the bad taste that lingers from Sunday’s loss will give them some extra fuel as they get ready for Tennessee, but he has another loss on his mind heading into Saturday’s playoff game.
That loss came last season in Week 10, when the Titans thumped the Patriots 34-10 in Tennessee.
“It’s big motivation. We’re not happy with our performance, and they’re coming into our house,” Van Noy said Monday. “What better way to get it started with the playoffs than 8:15 Saturday at Gillette? I know it’s going to be rocking and I’m excited for our players to perform and play Patriots football.
“We have a chance to go on a revenge tour, and what better way to start off than with Tennessee, who we lost to last year,” said Van Noy.
Patriots players aren’t supposed to look ahead, but it certainly sounds like Van Noy is a tad bit guilty of doing just that. But if the Patriots want to lift another Lombardi Trophy, they’re going to have to avenge some of their 2019 losses — in addition to last year’s defeat in Tennessee.
Beating the Titans on Saturday would earn the Patriots a visit to the Kansas City Chiefs in the Divisional round. If the Pats can win that tough matchup, and there are no upsets elsewhere in the AFC, New England will have to take on the Ravens in Baltimore in the AFC title game. Both the Chiefs and Ravens handed the Patriots regular season losses, so there’s your revenge tour.
But Van Noy took a bit of a step back when asked to expand on this potential tour, and made it clear that his focus is on the Titans.
“You have to look at who we can play. We’re playing the Titans, and we have to go into it and put everything we can into that game,” he said. “They’re a really good team and [Coach] Vrabel has them playing well. We’re excited for the challenge.”
So don’t expect any “Revenge Tour” t-shirts to replace the “Boogeymen” threads that New England linebackers have been sporting throughout the season.
While the Patriots did not play the Titans this season, they are a familiar foe for New England. Former Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel roams the sideline for Tennessee, and the two teams participated in joint practices ahead of their preseason matchup back in August.
Van Noy said that the Patriots owning home-field advantage on Saturday won’t mean much when the two teams kick off, and neither will New England’s robust history of postseason success. It will all depend on the 2019 New England Patriots putting together their best game of the season.
“It’s mostly if we come together as a group, which we’ve done in the past and in this season. If we come and play the way we know we can play, we can make some plays and make things happen,” said Van Noy. “It doesn’t matter how hot teams are or how cold teams are going into the playoffs. Right now we’re focused on us going into this game against the Titans and the opportunity that we have.”
Tune in to Saturday’s Patriots-Titans Wild Card showdown on WBZ-TV — the flagship station of the New England Patriots. Pregame kicks off at 7 p.m. with Patriots GameDay, kickoff is set for 8:15 p.m. and after the game stay tuned for full reaction and analysis on Patriots 5th Quarter!