New England Patriots, the reigning NFL champions, held onto the top spot in the AFC Sunday night with a comfortable 33-16 victory over the Tennessee Titans. Tom Brady threw for the first two touchdowns before the Patriots cruised to victory, moving an inch closer to securing a first-round bye in the forthcoming playoffs.
During the course of the win, Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota suffered a knee injury. Mariota, the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner and No 2 overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft, left the game prematurely after being sacked consecutively during second-quarter possessions.
After the game, the rookie felt it wasn’t worth risking an injury. “I wanted to go in (to the locker room) right away. I don’t expect to be out for the rest of the year,” said the young prospect.
It was just another day in the office for Brady, who completed 23 of 35 passes for 267 yards while James White caught seven passes for 71 yards, including an incredible 30-yard sprinting TD. Keshawn Martin had a great outing, finishing a 75-yard kickoff to set up another field goal for Patriots.
With Dion Lewis and LeGarrette Blount suffering season-ending injuries, White filled in capably and earned the praise of Brady and the coaching staff. “Guys are going out and guys are coming in. You’re just trying to do what you can to be productive,” a positive Brady said after the victory (Watch post-game press conference below).
Despite the win, Patriots suffered more injuries Sunday night as linebacker Dont’a Hightower (knee), receiver Danny Amendola (knee) and safety Patrick Chung (hip) left the game during various junctures. Regardless of the perineal injury woes, Patriots are 12-2 for the season. “Twelve wins, that’s on the right track here,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said after the win.
Patriots will face the New York Jets next Sunday night.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) December 21, 2015
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) December 20, 2015