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Titans Knock Off New England to Face Ravens in Playoffs

Ryan Tannehill, Lawrence Guy
Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill passes while in the grasp of New England Patriots defensive tackle Lawrence Guy in the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game, Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

The Tennessee Titans hung on to beat the New England Patriots 20-13 on Saturday, advancing to the divisional playoff round to play the AFC’s Number 1 seed, the Baltimore Ravens.

The Patriots put the first points on the board with a 36-yard field goal by kicker Nick Folk.

Tennessee responded soon thereafter with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Tannehill to tight end Anthony Firkser, capping a 12-play, 75-yard drive.

That is when New England regained the lead 10-7 with a five-yard rushing touchdown by receiver Julian Edelman.

When it appeared as if the Titans could face a double-digit deficit going into halftime, their defense held the Patriots to another field goal after they had a first and goal at the Tennessee one-yard line.

That allowed the Titans to go into the locker room with a 14-13 advantage after running back Derrick Henry’s one-yard touchdown run.

He says, “We knew it was going to be a tough game. We just had the mindset to never give up and keep playing. That’s the way we like it – we want it gritty, and we want it dirty. We played Titans football. We knew we were coming into a hostile environment, and we just had to play our game.”

In addition, they didn’t allow New England to find the end zone even once in the second half.

Late in the fourth quarter, cornerback Logan Ryan intercepted Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and returned it for a touchdown with just nine seconds left to play, setting the stage for the Titans’ big win.

The victory improves Tennessee’s all-time record to 9-5 in wild card games as well as a 5-4 record on the road in wild card games. It also improves their postseason record to 7-7 in the “Titans era,” and gives them at least one playoff victory in two of the last three seasons, in addition to a 2017 wild card win.

The Titans will face the Ravens on Saturday, January 11.