The New England Patriots posted their greatest shedding deficit of the season.
And since it got here in opposition to some acquainted faces, there was loads of swagger from the opposite aspect after the sport.
The Mike Vrabel-led Tennessee Titans smothered New England in a 34-10 win. That effort included a number of former Patriots, together with cornerbacks Logan Ryan and Malcolm Butler and operating again Dion Lewis, with the latter two signing with the Titans this previous offseason.
“Hell yeah it’s private,” Lewis mentioned after the sport, based on the NFL Community. “That’s what occurs once you go low cost. You get your (expletive) kicked.”
All through the sport, cameras caught Lewis engaged in trash speak with a number of of his former teammates.
Butler tried to downplay any revenge, saying that the victory was the identical as some other, however when pressed on whether or not he’d be smiling wider as a result of it got here in opposition to his former workforce, he mentioned “most undoubtedly.”
There was even some back-and-forth with the 2 groups’ play-calling.
On a third-and-7 with 11:41 left within the sport and the Patriots on the lookout for a spark on offense, coordinator Josh McDaniels known as a reverse go play, the identical one he dialed up within the Tremendous Bowl LII loss in opposition to the Eagles. In opposition to Philadelphia, quarterback Tom Brady dropped the go. On Sunday, Brady caught it however virtually instantly stumbled and fell to the bottom after gaining 6 yards.
On the following play, an offensive lineman was known as for a false begin. The Patriots didn’t convert the fourth-and-6.
Then, after Tennessee took over the ball, the Titans known as the identical reverse go on the very subsequent play. Titans receiver Darius Jennings floated a go to quarterback Marcus Mariota for 21 yards.
Stated Vrabel after the sport: “I wished to see if it seemed any higher than theirs.”
The Pats tied their season low in factors, transformed simply three of 15 third-down makes an attempt and rushed for under 40 yards. Brady was additionally benched late within the fourth quarter.
Vrabel, a former Patriots linebacker who was a teammate of Brady’s from 2001-08, and defensive coordinator Dean Pees – who held the identical title with the Patriots from 2006-09 – schemed up an efficient plan to stress Brady up the center. Tennessee sacked Brady 3 times and hit him one other six.
Brady accomplished simply 21 of 41 passes for 254 yards.
“They had been higher than we had been in that space,” Patriots coach Invoice Belichick mentioned. “In addition to in loads of different ones.”
On protection, it wasn’t significantly better.
Cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who had performed effectively this season and had typically shadowed opposing receivers, was routinely overwhelmed by Titans wideout Corey Davis, who caught seven passes for 125 yards and one rating.
“We didn’t actually do a lot of something effectively as we speak,” Belichick mentioned after the sport. “Every little thing was an issue.”
Observe Lorenzo Reyes on Twitter @LorenzoGReyes.