FOXBOROUGH — For the first time since 2010, the New England Patriots will close out a season without a playoff victory.
A 2019 campaign that started with so much promise was snuffed out on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium, with the Titans coming away with a 20-13 victory over New England in the AFC Wild Card round.
The Patriots’ defense labored all night against Tennessee running back Derrick Henry, who finished with 204 total yards in the Titans’ victory. While Henry extended drives with his smash-mouth carries, New England’s offense was unable to capitalize on multiple promising opportunities — both at midfield and in the red zone.
The Titans’ opening drive was a sign of things to come — as a 12-play, 80-yard push down the sidelines featured seven carries and 49 yards from Henry. Close to seven minutes after New England opened the scoring with a Nick Folk field goal, Tennessee countered — capping their first drive with a 12-yard touchdown reception from tight end Anthony Firkser.
New England’s defense did respond over the next two Titans drives — forcing a pair of three-and-outs against Ryan Tannehill and Co. With Tennessee stymied, New England surged back off of a pair of scoring drives, holding a 13-7 lead in the second quarter off of a five-yard touchdown run from Julian Edelman and another Folk field goal.
However, even with that lead, New England very well could have landed a knockout punch in the second quarter. One promising drive for New England flamed out on its own 47, with Elandon Roberts given the ball on a 3rd and 1. The Titans didn’t flinch, wrapping up the Patriots linebacker at the line of scrimmage to force a Jake Bailey punt.
Even on the second-quarter that ended with Folk’s second field goal of the evening, New England left plenty of points on the table — with Sony Michel stuffed on a pair of rushing attempts on the Titans’ one-yard line.
Those squandered chances came back to bite the Patriots before halftime, with Henry once again accruing 56 of the Titans’ 75 yards in their final drive of the half — capped by a one-yard score from the running back that handed Tennessee the lead again, 14-13.
That score would hold until the final seconds of the night — when former Patriot Logan Ryan picked off Brady and ran it back into New England’s end zone to cap off a miserable night in Foxborough.
Tom Brady, in what very well could be his final game with the Patriots, finished the night with 20 completions on 37 attempts, accruing 209 yards with zero touchdowns and an interception.
Game: 2019 AFC Wild-Card Game — Titans (9-7) at Patriots (12-4), 8:25 p.m. * Gametime changed.
Location: Gillette Stadium
TV: Ch. 4 CBS — Jim Nantz (play-by-play), Tony Romo (color), Tracy Wolfson, Jay Feely (sidelines).
Radio: 98.5-FM The SportsHub in Boston with Bob Socci (play-by-play) and Scott Zolak (color). Bedard will be on the postgame show approximately one hour after the game.
Online: Gamecenter | Titans notes | Patriots notes | Flipcard
Betting line: Patriots -4.5, 45 o/u
Referee: John Hussey, fifth season (Did Patriots-Bills game)
LIVE GAME COVERAGE