The unthinkable happened in week 17 as the Miami Dolphins turned up at Gillette Stadium and beat the New England Patriots.
The result? Bill Belichick’s side dropped to the number 3 side and will partake in the NFL playoffs Wildcard round for the first time in a decade.
Mike Vrabel’s Tennessee Titans will be the visitors to the Gillette Stadium this Saturday after finishing with a 9-7 record to take the number 6 seed.
Led by Ryan Tannehill, the Titans limped into the playoffs having lost games against the likes of the Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars and Indianapolis Colts this season. They are beat up badly in the secondary too.
Derrick Henry has been the star for Vrabel’s side in recent weeks, but one has to wonder if he was run into the ground during Sunday’s 35-14 win over division rivals the Houston Texans, carrying the ball an astonishing 31 times after missing the previous week with a hamstring injury.
Tennessee come up against the league’s number one defence and their simple offensive game may be too easy for Belichick and his coaching staff to plan for. They have successfully beaten Ryan Tannehill-led sides in the past during his time with the Miami Dolphins, and are 2-0 in the playoffs against the Titans.
In fact, the Titans have won just three playoff appearances since reaching the Super Bowl at the start of the millennium.
Sure, Tom Brady and co haven’t impressed too often on offence this season, but there will be plenty of gaps in the Titans’ secondary for him to pick apart. The Patriots are 5/11 favourites and -4.5 on the spread. We expect them to cover.
Pick: New England Patriots -4.5