David Butler II/USA Today Sports

2 stats which show how dominant Patriots defense was in win over Titans

Ryan Hannable
January 14, 2018 - 4:15 am

FOXBORO -- Although the Patriots allowed a late touchdown to beat the Titans 35-14 on Saturday, it still was a dominant performance by the New England defense.

After it allowed the Titans to score first, the Patriots scored 35 straight points and the defense played unbelievable.

Coming into the game, a major focus was running back Derrick Henry and keeping him in check, especially after he ran for 156 yards in the wild card win over the Chiefs. Well, Henry didn't come close to that Saturday, as he finished with 28 yards on 12 carries. The most impressive thing was he didn't have a single rush of more than four yards. 

For a Patriots defense that finished second-to-last in the NFL during the regular season, allowing 4.7 yards per carry, this was a big deal.

“I can’t even really tell you, to be honest," said defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois. "I just know they were hitting us with runs here and there, but once we got a hold of it, it was controlled and we kept them to, if I’m not mistaken, 65 yards rushing. So that was a good day.”

Not only did the Patriots defense control the running game, it dominated in the third quarter when the game was still somewhat in reach with New England leading 21-7 at the half.

From the start of the second half until there was less than 10 minutes to play in the game, the Titans offense totaled -15 net yards spanning three drives.

“It was fun," cornerback Stephon Gilmore said. "It’s always fun when you win, but we were making plays out there and having fun with each other. We were amped up a little bit more in the playoffs and it was fun.”

Limiting Henry to no more than four yards on any carry and surrendering -15 net yards in over a quarter of game action went a long way in the Patriots' win Saturday night.

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