ms to avoid long stretch
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First Taron Johnson Color Rush Jersey , the Patriots tuned out a week full of off-field drama. Then, they silenced the Titans to earn yet another trip to the AFC championship game.
Tom Brady passed for three touchdowns and 337 yards, and New England cruised past Tennessee 35-14 on Saturday night to advance to their seventh consecutive conference title game.
New England (14-3) will host the winner of Sunday’s divisional matchup between Jacksonville and Pittsburgh.
It was Brady’s 10th career postseason game with at least three TD tosses, moving him past Joe Montana for the most in NFL history. James White caught a touchdown pass and ran for another, and Danny Amendola had 11 catches for 112 yards.
New England’s victory came on the heels of a week filled with turmoil following reports of discord involving Brady, coach Bill Belichick and team owner Robert Kraft.
None of that showed on the field Saturday.
”I’ve been around long enough,” Brady said. ”So, 18 years Josh Sitton Color Rush Jersey , there’s so many nice things said about me. It just goes with the territory.”
The Titans (10-8) took an early 7-0 lead, but New England scored 35 straight points to take control.
Marcus Mariota completed 22 of 37 passes for 254 yards and two touchdowns, but was under duress for most of the second half. He was sacked eight times, a Patriots playoff record.
Coach Mike Mularkey said after the game his quarterback strained a quadriceps in the first quarter.
”It had an impact,” Mularkey said. ”We had to get out of some of our scheme with him.”
New England also held Derrick Henry to just 28 yards rushing on 12 carries.
The Titans came back from an 18-point deficit in the second half to beat the Chiefs 22-21 in the wild-card round last week – the largest comeback on the road in the Super Bowl era. But the Patriots didn’t give them a chance for an encore.
Leading 14-7, the Patriots stretched their lead to 14 just before halftime thanks to a trio of careless penalties on the Titans.
Tennessee initially forced a three-and-out, but gave up a first down via a fourth-and-5 neutral zone infraction on Brynden Trawick before New England’s punt attempt.
Armed with a new set of downs, Brady went to work moving the Patriots down the field with a steady diet of short passes. The Titans helped along the way with illegal contact and unnecessary roughness penalties. It eventually culminated in a 4-yard TD pass from Brady to Chris Hogan in the back of the end zone that made it 21-7.
Brady threw a short shovel pass to White Andrei Svechnikov Jersey , who ran it in from the 5-yard line to make it 7-7 early in the second quarter.
The Patriots appeared to have a touchdown three plays earlier, when Dion Lewis caught a pass from Brady and was tackled by Wesley Woodyard at the 19. Lewis landed on top of the defender, then got up and continued to the end zone.
The officials initially ruled that he had never been down and called it a touchdown. But replays showed Lewis’ butt hit the ground at the 19.
Corey Davis made a one-handed catch on a 15-yard pass from Mariota in the corner of the end zone to give the Titans a 7-0 lead. Mariota had a pair of 11-yard runs to help set up the score.
Davis added an 11-yard TD reception with 1:55 left in the game – and the Titans’ season.
Titans: Right tackle Jack Conklin walked off on his own power after injuring a knee in the first quarter. He did not return. … Tight end Jonnu Smith was carted off in the third quarter with a right leg injury.
Patriots: Right tackle LaAdrian Waddle left with a knee injury early in the third quarter. … Cornerback Jonathan Jones was helped off the field late in the fourth quarter.
The Titans had 85 penalties in the regular season – the second-fewest in the NFL.
They were flagged 10 times for 62 yards on Saturday, just the second time they had 10 or more this season.
MOVING ON UP
Gronkowski finished with six catches for 81 yards and touchdown. It was his 10th career postseason TD. He’s tied with five others for third all-time. But it’s the most for a tight end.
Gronk also moved into second all-time for a tight end with 835 postseason receiving yards. He passed Keith Jackson, and only Dallas Clark is ahead of him.
The Patriots will play the winner of Sunday’s matchup between the Jaguars and Steelers in the AFC championship game.
Since divisional play began in 1969, only three times has a division had two teams with at least 100 wins.
That could happen again this year in the AL East – and maybe the AL West as well.
The Yankees, Red Sox, Astros and Mariners are all on pace to win over 100 games Pernell McPhee Color Rush Jersey , and they’ve created tight races atop those two divisions. With two wild cards in each league, those four teams have some breathing room in the race for the postseason, but there should be plenty of incentive to win the division title and avoid the one-game, winner-take-all scenario that the wild cards have to deal with.
The Yankees and Red Sox just played a three-game series in New York. The games weren’t all that suspenseful – they ended 8-1, 11-0 and 11-1, with the Yankees winning two of three.
The first time two teams from one division won at least 100 games was in 1980, when the Yankees (103-59) outlasted the Orioles (100-62) atop the AL East. A seven-game winning streak in mid-September helped New York hold on.
In 1993, the last year before the wild card http://www.cowboysauthorizedshops.com/authentic-jihad-ward-jersey , the Braves (104-58) and Giants (103-59) dueled all the way to the final day before San Francisco was done in by a 12-1 loss to the rival Dodgers. Atlanta was 10 games out on the morning of July 23 but went 49-16 the rest of the way.
The only time in the six-division era that a 100-win team failed to finish first was when Oakland went 102-60 in 2001 and still ended up 14 games behind a 116-win Seattle team.
None of the teams involved in those three previous examples made it to the World Series, so consider that a word of caution to this year’s American League behemoths.
Some other developments around the majors:
If the Mariners make the postseason this year, it will be their first appearance since that remarkable 2001 season. Baseball’s next-longest drought belongs to the Marlins, who haven’t made it since winning the World Series as a wild card in 2003.
The addition of extra wild cards has made it easier for teams to avoid long stretches without a postseason berth. The Padres haven’t made it since 2006 and the White Sox haven’t been in since 2008. Aside from those two teams, the Marlins and the Mariners, every major league franchise has made the postseason at least once since 2011.
The outfield wall in Toronto is high enough that it doesn’t lend itself to home run-robbing catches. Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar figured out a solution, however, planting a foot on the wall and using it to vault himself up while making a catch on a drive by Detroit’s Nicholas Castellanos. Even Castellanos applauded that catch Sunday.
LINES OF THE WEEK
Two from the Red Sox-Yankees series: Chris Sale allowed one hit in seven innings Malik Jefferson Color Rush Jersey , striking out 11 in Boston’s 11-0 win Saturday night. The following evening, it was New York delivering an 11-1 blowout. Aaron Hicks hit three home runs for the Yankees in that game.
Sale has a 1.73 career ERA against the Yankees, best among pitchers with at least 10 starts against them since 1920. But Sunday’s six-homer barrage brought New York’s season total to 137, a franchise record for before the All-Star break.