FOXBORO (CBS) — A disappointing season came to a disappointing end for the New England Patriots on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.

In a defensive battle, the Patriots’ underwhelming offense couldn’t make anything happen in a scoreless second half, as the Tennessee Titans entered Gillette Stadium and walked away with a 20-13 playoff victory.

Tom Brady completed 20 of his 37 passes for 209 yards, with no touchdowns and an interception in the final seconds. The Patriots’ offense failed to cash in with touchdowns on two of their three red zone trips. That made all the difference in the game, particularly the Patriots’ inability to find the end zone on three straight tries from the goal line in the second quarter.

Ryan Tannehill completed just eight of his 15 passes for 72 yards with an interception. But he delivered the two biggest passes of the game to tight end Anthony Firkser — a first-quarter touchdown and a fourth-quarter chain-mover.

Derrick Henry ran for a touchdown and over 100 yards in the first half and finished with 182 yards on 34 carries.

The stage was set in the final five minutes for a vintage Brady performance. Trailing by a single point, the Patriots took over at their own 11-yard line with 4:44 remaining in the fourth quarter and three timeouts to spare. Brady began the drive by hitting a wide-open James White, who caught the pass and scampered for a 20-yard gain. Two plays later, Brady had Julian Edelman for a first-down pickup, but Edelman dropped the pass.

On the resulting third-and-6, Brady threw wide to Phillip Dorsett, leading to a Patriots punt.

The Titans took over at their own 13-yard line and faced a third-and-8. With the home crowd reaching its loudest level of the night, Tannehill stood and delivered a strike to Anthony Frisker for a gain of 11 and a fresh set of downs. Henry broke an 11-yard run before the two-minute warning on the next play, essentially allowing Tennessee to drain the remaining time.

The Titans punted back to the Patriots in the final minute, with New England gaining possession at their own 1-yard line with just 15 seconds to play. Mohamed Sanu couldn’t handle a short pass, and Logan Ryan picked it off and ran it back for a touchdown to make the score look even worse for the home team.

The Patriots attempted a series of laterals on the final kickoff, but to no avail.

The game began with a Patriots scoring drive, after the Titans elected to defer upon winning the opening coin toss. Brady connected with a tightly covered Ben Watson for 21 yards on a third-and-10, before James White picked up 29 yards on a screen pass to the left side.

A trick play then followed, with Brady handing to Rex Burkhead and Burkhead pitching the ball back to Brady. The quarterback had nowhere to throw though, and the Patriots ended up settling for a Nick Folk field goal to take an early 3-0 lead.

The Titans responded with a thorough touchdown drive to take a 7-3 lead. It was a 12-play, 75-yard drive by the visiting team that saw Derrick Henry gain 49 yards on seven carries, a Marcus Mariota pass out of a heavy set, and a Ryan Tannehill 12-yard touchdown pass to tight end Anthony Firkser, who beat Terrence Brooks in coverage one snap after Patrick Chung departed due to injury.

Undeterred, the Patriots answered with a touchdown drive of their own, driving 75 yards on 10 plays. Sony Michel broke a 25-yard run after Mohamed Sanu made a 14-yard catch over the middle, before Brady hit Watson for an 11-yard gain. James White ran for 14 yards on a third-and-2 from the 21-yard line. On second-and-goal from the 5, Edelman took a jet sweep around the right side and ran in untouched for the touchdown, and the extra point gave New England a 10-3 lead early in the second quarter.

A 24-yard punt return by Sanu kick-started another Patriots scoring drive, with New England driving all the way down to the Tennessee 1-yard line. A 7-yard connection between Brady and N’Keal Harry on a third-and-6 kept the driving moving. But at the goal line, the Titans stopped the Patriots on three straight plays, forcing another settling for a field goal, giving them a 13-7 lead.

That lead was short-lived though, as the Titans rode Henry for a touchdown drive before halftime. Henry ran for 53 yards and a touchdown on five carries, and he also had a 22-yard reception on a screen pass to set up his 1-yard score, giving Tennessee a 14-13 lead before halftime.

Henry had 106 rushing yards and the 22 receiving yards before halftime.

Defense ruled the third quarter, with each team punting twice and neither team putting any points on the board. The offensive highlight came when Brady delivered a picture-perfect strike to Edelman to convert a third down and get the Patriots out of their own end of the field.

The strong defense continued to start the fourth quarter, when Duron Harmon intercepted an ill-advised Tannehill pass to set the Patriots up near midfield. That drive, though, didn’t go far, ending with a Jake Bailey punt into the end zone.

The Titans were threatening with another potential scoring drive, getting the ball across midfield with less than six minutes to play, but Tannehill fumbled a shotgun snap on a third-and-2, leading to a Tennessee punt.

The loss now kicks off an offseason of uncertainty, as the Patriots carry a number of key players who will become free agents this offseason, the most significant being Tom Brady.

Comments (27)
  1. George says:

    What an awesome night! Hope all cheatriot fans get a greats night sleep. I will!!!!!!!!

  2. Maurice Rogerson says:

    The Patriots will be fine. They, like all other organizations, realize that each team wins some and loses some. No big deal. Congratulations to the Titans!

  3. Luc says:

    Brady. Retreat, cheater. tx .

  4. Tom says:

    Great! Now we can have an honest Super Bowl without cheaters like the Patriots on the field.

  5. Jerry Redmond says:

    Watching the last 9 Patriot games I have come to the conclusion that something is wrong with Tom Brady. Plus he depended on the Gronk to bail the team out of tough situations. Why JAMES White disappears, leaves me questioning the coaching staff. All in all, greatly disappointed in their performance.

    1. Tom says:

      Brady needs to retire. He’s missed throws all year. Can’t blame the receivers like he used to.

  6. Rplus says:

    need to start deflating the ball

  7. Frank DeLorey says:

    Yeah Brady was the problem…right. All season Kraft could have been trying to find some good receivers, TE and get the running game fixed but he didn’t. The problem was that the number one defense decided to take the second half of the season off….nice job stopping the run fellas.

  8. Rod Hackenflasch says:

    This would never have happened if Hillary had won.

  9. John Trapp says:

    Cheaters never win. This year Bill Bellicheat and Tom Bradicheat failed to win by cheating

  10. Colin says:

    What is the NFL?

  11. Chris says:

    Good! This means I might actually watch the Superbowl this year.

  12. Ron says:

    When something becomes who you are and not what you do, it can be very hard to recognize it maybe time to move on. In the end Tom Brady will make that choice.

  13. R. L. Hails Sr. P. E. (ret.) says:

    America just killed a ruler of a foreign nation. Each family now owes some one else about $300,000, their assigned portion of our governments’ debt. There is an white hot debate to end the use of fire (and fission) in America, upon which our survival depends. Our President is (or is not, depending on the lawyer) impeached.

    Why anyone cares who moves a rubber ball up or down a field is a stupidity I can not comprehend. Mr. Brady will be dead in a few years; as will many others.

    1. Roger That says:

      Leave your misguided political comments on the field R.L. Hails. My brother’s were killed or maimed by that terrorist general – not the leader of a nation. That evil SOB is now being visited by his 72 nine year old virgins. And don’t worry – this will settle down and the largest sponsor of terror in the world will stutter and stammer, but will not hurt you.

      Have confidence in people like me, we will protect even people like you.

      Go Pats!

  14. WT Black says:

    Oh man, this made my YEAR! Watching these clowns bite the dust was priceless. And by 1 point!? That made it sweeter. I hope this is the beginning of the end for these a–holes!

  15. Milo says:

    Cheaters never prosper.

  16. Seeya NFL says:

    Last few years I only the Superbowl to see Brady play because he’s such an anomaly in the sports world and hated by all the media. I quit watching my local 9ers due to their loser qb taking a knee every chance he got and NFL doing nothing! if no Brady and the media hatred of him, who cares! I root for who the media despises!

    1. Billy Goat says:

      Not sure what planet you’re living on. The media loves Brady and his coach, even to the point of white-washing their cheating history.

    2. Billy Goat says:

      Connor B….Deflate Gate, PEDSGate, SPYGATE, IRGate, SnowPlow Gate, Walkthrough Gate. Give the “Haters” label a rest. It’s not “childish” to object to cheating…it’s childish to know they cheat, and ignore it just so you can keep on loving your idols. Grow up.

    3. Billy Goat says:

      Connor B….Deflate Gate, PEDSGate, SPYGATE, IRGate, SnowPlow Gate, Walkthrough Gate. Give the “Haters” label a rest. It’s not “childish” to object to cheating…it’s childish to know they cheat, and ignore it just so you can keep on loving your idols. Grow up.

  17. Conner B says:

    Hopefully Tom will come back to the Patriots and they will have a team that can support him next season so he can retire with 7 rings. I like all the haters on here…childish and filled with pure jealously. No asterisks next to Brady or the Patriots name. Go cry somewhere else.

    1. Billy Goat says:

      Connor B….Deflate Gate, PEDSGate, SPYGATE, IRGate, SnowPlow Gate, Walkthrough Gate. Give the “Haters” label a rest. It’s not “childish” to object to cheating…it’s childish to know they cheat, and ignore it just so you can keep on loving your idols. Grow up.

  18. Jay Lewis says:

    No Gronk no win. Edelman is a choker.

  19. C.R. Smith says:

    whoever came up with these floating videos should be flogged like a rented mule

  20. Max says:

    The Pats are toast, done, finished and yesterday’s news. Period. They have no offense and the defense is overrated (the combined winning percentage of the teams they beat was .380).
    Good luck fixing all that. Every good team they played this year beat them and the Pats won’t be playing the bottom feeders next year. Brady sees the future and that is why he is desperate to sell his house. The future, happily, is bleak for the arrogant Pats fans.

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