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goals before the period ended.

in Deutsch in Medien und Literatur 20.08.2018 04:07
von officialsbaseball • 303 Beiträge

FOXBOROUGH Chiefs Elite Jerseys , Mass. — Having already survived two win-or-go-home battles, the Tennessee Titans face their toughest test when they visit the defending champion New England Patriots in Saturday night’s AFC divisional round game.

The Titans pulled out a 15-10 home win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in their regular-season finale to earn a spot in the playoffs. They then went on the road and rallied from 21-3 down and stunned the Kansas City Chiefs 22-21 to advance for the second time.

Now, the Titans are two-touchdown underdogs as the Patriots are expected by most people to take the next step toward their sixth Super Bowl crown of the Bill Belichick/Tom Brady Era.

“It just shows that how tough of a team they are under the pressure,” New England’s Rob Gronkowski said earlier this week. “They’ve basically won two playoff games — one to get into the playoffs and a playoff game last week. It just shows how tough they are, how fundamental they are and that they’re ready to bring it in the clutch times.”

The Patriots have won the last six games between the teams and the Titans haven’t won in Foxborough since 1993, when they were the Houston Oilers.

While the Titans were pulling off their major comeback against the Chiefs, the Patriots were going through another bye week, but one that was filled with controversy. An ESPN report dealt with dissension among New England’s power trio of owner Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady — much of it centering around the Pats’ trade of Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers for just a second-round draft choice.

So, the Patriots have been dealing with questions all week — as the Titans just prepare.

“You know what, I’ll be honest with you, I don’t know anything about it,” Tennessee coach Mike Mularkey said on a conference call with the New England media, regarding the controversy. “I’m not a social media guy. I don’t know enough, I really don’t, to make any comment about something like that.”

One thing Ryan Jensen Jersey Buccaneers , besides championships, the Patriots have become known for is blocking out distractions. Belichick simply won’t allow any outside stimuli to affect his team.

“Throughout my years here I’ve seen a lot of negative, a lot of positive,” Gronkowski said Tuesday. “The reputation that Coach tries to get us to have is just ignore the noise — ignore the noise from the outside and I feel like that’s what myself and a lot of other players have been doing.

“You just gotta ignore the noise and just focus on what we’ve been doing all year and that’s preparing hard, studying our opponent, getting ready, mentally and physically for the big game, so what’s going on on the outside, as a team, as an organization, just gotta keep grinding, keep going, keep doing our job.”

The New England defense is spending the week preparing for mobile quarterback Marcus Mariota, a third-year pro who can make things happen with his legs. He ran 87 yards for a 2015 touchdown.

“He actually knows when to run and when to pass the ball when scrambling,” Patriots safety Duron Harmon said Wednesday. “It’s a very unique skill because a lot of guys once they get scrambling, they’re not even looking downfield anymore Cheap Customized Atlanta Falcons Jerseys , they’re just looking to run. But he always has his eyes downfield — always knows when to run, when to throw the pass, I would say his touch on the ball, too, that gets people open when he’s scrambling.”

Mariota, who threw 13 touchdown passes and 15 interceptions during the regular season, had two touchdown passes and one pick in the playoff win. One of the touchdowns passes actually went to himself after Darrelle Revis batted down one of his passes before Mariota caught it and scored.

But Mariota was also sixth in the NFL (Brady was first) in third-down passer rating.

Wednesday, the Titans announced running back DeMarco Murray will miss his third straight game with a knee injury, while the Patriots could get both James White and Rex Burkhead back to further fortify a running game that has excelled even without them thanks to Dion Lewis.

Earlier this week, Titans’ All-Pro safety Kevin Byard said the goal of his defense is pretty simple — turn Brady into Blake Bortles.

“It’s a playoff game, so it’s not like it’s the preseason where I can go out there, ‘Oh, it’s Brady,’ and I’m chillin’,” Byard said Tuesday.

“This is a playoff game. So I don’t really care if it was Joe Montana. You know what I’m saying? I’m trying to go out there and win the game. I want to make him look like Blake Bortles if I can and try to catch a couple picks.

“Tom Brady is a great quarterback, but it’s a playoff game. I’m not really looking at it like that.”

Cornerback Logan Ryan Youth Cordy Glenn Jersey , a former Patriots player now with the Titans, has been limited in practice with an ankle injury.

Jimmy Garoppolo showed what he can do in coach Kyle Shanahan's offense even before he fully understood it in an impressive five-game cameo at the end of last season.

With an entire offseason to learn the foundation of the San Francisco 49ers' scheme and build chemistry with his receivers and offensive line, he should only be better in his first full season as an NFL starter in 2018.

Whether that translates into even more prolific numbers is a different question.

"I don't know how much of a jump you're going to see," Shanahan said Wednesday before the team's final minicamp practice of the offseason. "When you talk about expectations, I don't know how you're going to live up to that. He did very good last year. If we had 400 yards a game, does that mean we need to have 600 the first five games to improve? I don't know what the numbers will be, but we will be a better offense."

The numbers were quite good after Garoppolo took over as the Niners won their final five games of the season after a 1-10 start under Shanahan. San Francisco scored on an NFL-best 56.6 percent of their drives after Garoppolo took over as starter and ranked in the top five in the league in scoring offense (28.8 points per game), yards per play (6.1) and yards per game (409.6).

That all came with Garoppolo being force fed a game plan each week in an offense he barely knew. This offseason he has been able to start from scratch and learn the whys behind the scheme, which should make him even better once the season starts.

"I think I've come a long way, especially from last season when I was just cramming everything in," Garoppolo said. "But there's still a long way to go developing that chemistry between me and the skill positions and the o-line. It's a work in progress."

That was evident Tuesday when issues with a new cadence led to several false starts or players not getting off on time early in practice. That led Garoppolo to keep a lot of the offense on the field after practice for some extra work to make sure those issues don't come up again.

Shanahan said he was pleased to see his players take the initiative to fix those issues without any prodding from the coaches.

"It wasn't any fun," Garoppolo said. "When that goes wrong, it just screws up the rest of the play. First and foremost, we have to get that corrected."

While the cadence issue was a one-time issue, a major focus this offseason for Garoppolo and the offense has been on becoming more efficient in the red zone.

San Francisco moved the ball with ease the last five weeks of the season but the offense too often had to settle for field goals. The Niners converted less than half of their chances inside the opponent's 20-yard line into touchdowns.

The team has excelled in that area in practice this offseason and Garoppolo hopes that carries over to the games.

"Those are point plays," Garoppolo said. "Those are the ones that really matter. When you get those opportunities Cheap Lamar Jackson Jersey , it's hard to complete a touchdown, especially in the red zone like that. The windows are tighter, there's not as much room."

While Garoppolo is the headliner, there has been significant change in the one-plus year since Shanahan and general manager John Lynch took over a struggling franchise.

Shanahan took over a two-win team that had gone through three coaches in the previous three years and now has it in position to be a legitimate contender in the power-packed NFC.

"We've put a lot of work in a year, we've gone through a lot of things, we've changed the roster over a ton," Shanahan said. "We've been better as a coaching staff. We go through this every single day. What I'm happy about as I look over our players and our coaches is we're better. We're deeper. We're faster. We move together, our 11 guys, better together. That should happen. We've done it longer. We've had more time to build the personnel."

NOTES: WR Marquise Goodwin won the Pro Football Writers of America George Halas Award, given to the person who overcomes the most adversity to succeed. Goodwin caught an 83-yard touchdown pass in a Week 10 win against the Giants just hours after he and his wife, Morgan, lost their infant son due to complications which led to a premature delivery. ... Third-round LB Fred Warner signed his rookie contract. ... Former 49ers LB Larry Grant has been named the team's 2018 Nunn-Wooten Scouting Fellow.

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