Live Blog: Titans at Patriots


Live Blog: Titans at Patriots9:15 p.m.: This actually might turn out to be a great week for the Patriots to go to London because they’ve got to turn this thing around quickly, move forward from an utterly dominating 59-0 victory and get ready for the Buccaneers. New England’s travel and practice schedule will be different this week, so focus and concentration will have to really peak for this team. 

It’s obviously early, but the Patriots’ victory has put them in the pole position in the AFC East, and that’s not a bad place to be at this point considering what happened earlier in the year against the Jets.

Tom Brady and the offense have found some rhythm, and the defense forced five turnovers. Naturally, a lot of good things came together while the Titans put forth an embarrassing effort. Surely, this game was reminiscent of a lot of Patriots performances from 2007, but it’s got to be used more as a building block than anything else.

9:09 p.m.: Junior Seau on his fumble recovery: “I just threw my big coconut butt on it and recovered it.”

9:05 p.m.: Titans head coach Jeff Fisher said he was “very disappointed, obviously, and embarrassed, to say the least.” Quarterback Kerry Collins said, “It’s about as bad as it gets.”

9:00 p.m.: Junior Seau on his first game back with the Patriots: “It was a great home welcome. It really was. I have a lot of respect for the fan base here and obviously for the organization. I’m happy to be here.”

8:35 p.m.: Titans left guard Eugene Amano: “I have never witnessed anything like this.”

8:33 p.m.: When asked why Adalius Thomas was inactive, Bill Belichick replied, “We just went with the players that would have a bigger role in the game.” Ouch.

8:13 p.m.: Darius Butler on the death of his good friend and former UConn teammate Jasper Howard: “It is shocking. It’s a tough situation, especially on the college campus. You send your kid to college to go to school and get an education, and something like that happens. It’s terrible. It’s definitely a huge tragedy.”

8:09 p.m.: With the win, the Patriots improved to 4-2 this season, and they have taken over sole possession of first place in the AFC East after the Jets’ surprising loss to the Bills.

Final. Patriots 59, Titans 0: And it wasn’t even that close. I’m heading to the locker rooms and will check back later.

Fourth quarter, 2:44: The only way this game could get any worse for the Titans is if someone reenacted the opening scene from The Last Boy Scout.

Fourth quarter, 6:08: The Patriots have totaled 614 net yards, which is a new franchise record.

Fourth quarter, 6:56: How about this one? In his first game back, Junior Seau recovered a fumble. The Patriots take possession at their own 30-yard line after Tennessee’s fifth turnover of the day.

Fourth quarter, 11:35: The Titans stopped the Patriots on fourth down, and that was just New England’s second offensive possession that didn’t result in any points. The first came on the Patriots’ opening drive of the game, which concluded with a missed field goal. The Patriots had scored touchdowns on seven consecutive possessions and points on nine straight possessions prior to the fourth-down stop.

Fourth quarter, 14:18: Pat Chung intercepted the first pass of his career, and the Patriots take over at the Tennessee 43-yard line.

End of third quarter. The Patriots have scored a franchise-record 59 points, and they take their 59-0 lead into the final 15 minutes. The Titans have the ball at their own 35-yard line, and Vince Young is in at quarterback.

Third quarter, 0:11: The Patriots announced that their 45-point halftime lead set a new NFL record. The Packers had the old record when they had a 49-7 halftime lead against the Buccaneers in 1983.

Patriots 59, Titans 0. Third quarter, 0:11: Brian Hoyer plunged in from a yard out to score his first career touchdown. Who would have thought the Patriots were going to score 59 points in this snowstorm?

Third quarter, 1:21: Wes Welker has a career-high 150 receiving yards in this game.

Third quarter, 5:35: Laurence Maroney has eclipsed the 100-yard mark for the sixth time in his career.

Third quarter, 7:53: This is turning into a slapstick comedy. The Titans went for it on fourth-and-10 from the Patriots’ 17-yard line, and Kerry Collins tripped in the backfield, fumbled the ball and lost 22 yards.

Tom Brady’s day is done, as Brian Hoyer has come onto the field to lead the Patriots’ offense.

Patriots 52, Titans 0. Third quarter, 10:13: We can talk all day about how bad the Titans have been, but that doesn’t take anything away from some of the catches Randy Moss has made in this game. Moss just hauled in a nine-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady, who has six scoring strikes Sunday, tying his franchise record. Moss turned to his outside in the end zone and reached out to make a really nice reception. The pitch and catch were also a strong indication of how in sync Brady and Moss have been on this snowy afternoon.

Third quarter, 14:52: The Patriots have shown no sign of slowing down here. They’ve opened the third quarter with five wide receivers and no one in the backfield.

Halftime. Patriots 45, Titans 0: The Patriots will probably get criticized for running up the score against the Titans, and to some extent, that is true. However, to their defense, their offense has been a real problem this season, and they need as much work as possible to continue improving. It’s not really the Patriots’ fault that the Titans failed to show up today at Gillette Stadium, and the Patriots shouldn’t have to let their foot off the gas because of it. Are they running up the score for the sake of embarrassing Tennessee? Not a chance. The 45-point lead is the result of a team that is really clicking, and even more so, really needs the in-game work to correct its flaws.

Patriots 45, Titans 0. Second quarter, 0:12: Tom Brady threw his fifth touchdown pass of the second quarter, hitting Wes Welker on a five-yard strike.

Second quarter, 0:39: The Titans are wearing their Houston Oilers throwback uniforms as part of Sunday’s AFL Legacy Game. This game might actually be more competitive if the Titans could find some of those Houston old-timers to suit up and take the field. This is just a disaster.

Second quarter, 1:16: Even the punter hasn’t shown up. After a 21-yard punt from Reggie Hodges, the Patriots take over at the Tennessee 49-yard line.

Second quarter, 1:53: The Titans are taking over at their own 20-yard line after Stephen Gostkowski’s kickoff.

Patriots 38, Titans 0. Second quarter, 1:53: At some point, you’d think the Titans would try to show a little pride. Maybe? Tom Brady threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Wes Welker, and Brady has surpassed the 300-yard mark already.

Second quarter, 4:42: And it continues. After stopping the Titans yet again, the Patriots take over at their own 24-yard line.

Patriots 31-0, Titans 0. Second quarter, 6:20: Tom Brady hit Kevin Faulk on a screen pass that went for a 38-yard touchdown. We’re going to see Brian Hoyer at some point in this game.

Second quarter, 6:40: In response to a comment from “bright,” there are very few people sitting in the red seats. However, they do have access to luxury boxes, so they’re probably inside staying dry. The rest of the stadium has filled in a little more since my last post on the topic, but there are still a ton of empty seats here.

Second quarter, 7:54: Darius Butler intercepted Kerry Collins at the Patriots’ 35-yard line, and this is just getting ridiculous. Good for Butler, though. He lost a good friend and former teammate Sunday morning, when UConn cornerback Jasper Howard died from stab wounds he suffered during an on-campus fight. You know Butler has to be playing with a heavy heart.

Second quarter, 8:59: The Titans take over at their own 20-yard line after Stephen Gostkowski’s kickoff went through the end zone. Things have really gone downhill here for the Titans. You might even call it a snowball effect. (See what I did there?)

Patriots 24, Titans 0. Second quarter, 8:59: And the rout is on. Tom Brady has thrown two touchdown passes to Randy Moss in a span of three offensive plays — this one from 28 yards out. The Titans haven’t exactly been good this season, but this has got to be their low point. In a stretch of four snaps, the Patriots scored twice, and the Titans fumbled once.

Second quarter, 9:43: This is getting ugly fast. Kerry Collins fumbled the snap, and Mike Wright quickly jumped on it to give the Patriots the ball at the Tennessee 31-yard line. That’s not exactly how you want to respond after your offense gives up its second 40-yard touchdown of the game.

Second quarter, 9:50: Mark Jones took the kickoff back to the Tennessee 31-yard line, and the Titans are up against it here down by 17 points.

Patriots 17, Titans 0. Second quarter, 9:56: So much for the lack of long passing plays. Tom Brady hit Randy Moss for a 40-yard touchdown on a fancy play by all involved. The play started with Brady handing the ball off to running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who lateraled it back to Brady, who hit Moss down the field. The ball was slightly underthrown to Moss, who slowed up and made a great catch with three defenders around him.

Second quarter, 13:07: Brandon Meriweather forced running back LenDale White to fumble the ball, and Jonathan Wilhite recovered it at the Patriots’ 35-yard line. White’s fumble put an end to the Titans’ only productive drive of the afternoon, which was aided by a couple of nice runs from Chris Johnson.

End of the first quarter: The Patriots take a 10-0 lead into the second quarter of a game that they have completely dominated. Tennessee has a third-and-three from its own 27-yard line when the game resumes.

First quarter, 0:41: Mark Jones took the kickoff to the Tennessee 20-yard line, and the Titans are about to start their fourth drive of the day.

First quarter, 0:47: The Patriots announced that running back Sammy Morris has a left knee injury, and his return is questionable. Judging by the amount of pain Morris was in when he went down, I’m not thinking he’ll be back.

Patriots 10, Titans 0. First quarter, 0:47: Stephen Gostkowski hit a 33-yard field goal to extend the Patriots’ lead.

First quarter, 3:20: Tom Brady said Wednesday that Bill Belichick really lashed into the offense for its inability to hit on a long pass this season. Whether it was due to that pep talk or the Titans’ horrendous secondary is moot at this point because Brady hit on his longest pass of 2009, nailing Wes Welker for 48 yards down the left sideline. It was Brady’s first 40-yard pass since 2007.

First quarter, 4:57: The Patriots take over at their own 22-yard line after another three-and-out from the Titans, whose lone first down Sunday has come on a defensive holding penalty. They haven’t shown any dedication to the running game, and Kerry Collins has misfired on his first five pass attempts.

First quarter, 5:45: The Titans take over at their own 38-yard line after Mark Jones’ kickoff return.

Patriots 7, Titans 0. First quarter, 5:51: Critics be damned, Laurence Maroney ripped off a 45-yard touchdown run to give the Patriots an early lead against the Titans. To Maroney’s credit, he shot through a late hole in the line, and he scored on the second-longest touchdown run of his career. His longest came on a 59-yard scamper in a 28-7 victory against the Dolphins in 2007.

First quarter, 7:30: There are thousands of empty seats in this stadium.

First quarter, 8:18: Julian Edelman returned Reggie Hodges’ punt to the New England 21-yard line after a second lethargic possession by the Titans’ offense.

First quarter, 10:26: Stephen Gostkowski’s 39-yard field goal attempt sailed wide right after he and the offensive line spent a couple of minutes clearing off a spot on the field to kick from. Gostkowski has now missed two consecutive kicks, and the Titans take over at their own 29-yard line.

First quarter, 11:47: Sammy Morris injured his left knee on a five-yard reception. He can’t put any weight on the leg while getting helped off the field by the Patriots’ medical staff.

First quarter, 13:22: Julian Edelman showed just how exciting he can be in the open field, returning a punt 35 yards to the Tennessee 29-yard line to give the Patriots great field position after the Titans went three-and-out on their opening series.

First quarter, 14:55: Mark Jones returned the opening kickoff to the Tennessee 28-yard line, and the Patriots and Titans are in business at Gillette Stadium.

4:13 p.m.: The Titans called heads on the coin toss, and it landed on tails. The Patriots have deferred and will kick off to open the game.

4:06 p.m.: The Patriots just ran onto the field during the team introductions. Official game-time temperature is 39 degrees, with 13 mph winds that could reach gusts of 24 mph. The snow is getting downright obnoxious right now.

3:59 p.m.: We’re about 15 minutes from kickoff here at Gillette Stadium, and the grounds crew is shoveling snow off of the field. It’s been snowing pretty hard here for about an hour.

3:21 p.m.: Jay-Z’s “Public Service Announcement” is blasting at Gillette Stadium, and that only means one thing: Tom Brady has emerged from the locker room and is ready to begin his pregame warmup routine. And he’s doing it in the middle of an October snowstorm.

The Titans’ inactives are cornerback Nick Harper, safety Vincent Fuller, cornerback Cortland Finnegan, offensive lineman Leroy Harris, wide receiver Lavelle Hawkins, tight end Craig Stevens, defensive end Jevon Kearse and defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks.

2:51 p.m.: Well, this is a serious list of inactives. The Patriots announced wide receiver Joey Galloway, running back Fred Taylor, cornerback Terrence Wheatley, safety James Sanders, guard Rich Ohrnberger, left tackle Matt Light, defensive lineman Ron Brace and linebacker Adalius Thomas are all inactive for Sunday’s game against the Titans.

The real surprise here is Thomas, who has not been on the injury report all week. Granted, he hasn’t played up to standard this season, but it’s hard to believe he is a healthy scratch. Thomas was on the injury report for non-injury related reasons prior to the Broncos game, so there’s likely something we don’t know here.

Linebacker Junior Seau is active Sunday, so he’ll get his first action of the season. Galloway is out for the third consecutive game. Light hurt his ankle last Sunday against the Broncos and wasn’t expected to play against the Titans, so it looks like rookie Sebastian Vollmer will get his first career start.

2:42 p.m.: Players have been working out on the field for a little while now, and fans are starting to head into the stadium. It’s really pouring here now, and weather reports indicate it’s not going to stop here all afternoon. It’s too bad the new FieldTurf will take away from what could be a mud bowl at Gillette Stadium.

1:30 p.m.: The weather outside is frightful. The rain had briefly turned to snow here at Gillette Stadium a few minutes ago, and this is shaping up to be one ugly day.

Kickoff between the Patriots and Titans is set for 4:15, so there isn’t much movement around Gillette at this point. The few writers who are here are checking out the afternoon’s other NFL games on the televisions inside the press box, and I’ve got the Saints-Giants action on in front of me.

9:36 a.m.: The Patriots have openly admitted all week that their timing is off on the offensive side of the ball, and they expect it to take a full team effort to clean up those issues. Luckily for them, they welcome the Titans to Gillette Stadium on Sunday, and if the offense needs a wakeup call, it can surely count on an explosive performance against Tennessee’s sleeping secondary.

While the Titans are more dangerous than their 0-5 record indicates, they don’t figure to match up well with the Patriots, who should really take advantage of Tennessee’s depleted pass defense.

New England can put the Denver loss in the past and gain some momentum Sunday with a victory against the Titans, which preludes an extremely easy game in London against the terrible Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This serves as the beginning of a key two-game stretch for the Patriots before their bye week, so stay with all day for complete coverage of Patriots-Titans action.

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