TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 1: Tennessee Titans Vs. New England Patriots

Titans
Patriots
Tennessee Titans v Seattle Seahawks
New England Patriots v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Quarterback
Tom Brady is a Hall of Famer who has a lot more going for him than his three Super Bowls. Brady is an accurate, alert and strong-armed passer whose greatest asset may be his hunger to improve every season.
Winner Tom Brady is a Hall of Famer who has a lot more going for him than his three Super Bowls. Brady is an accurate, alert and strong-armed passer whose greatest asset may be his hunger to improve every season.
Offense
Mike Munchak knows that Jake Locker is not ready to seize control of the offense and do it all himself. He is expecting a big year from Chris Johnson, who struggled a year ago. Kendall Wright has the skills to become an explosive receiver.
Winner The Patriots have the kind of offense that can strike quickly and put a game out of reach. No offense gets the production from its tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez that the Patriots do. Wes Welker will make plays when the game is on the line.
Defense
Winner The Titans want to improve their pass rush significantly this season after recording just 28 sacks a year ago. Defensive end Kamerion Wimbley has the speed and explosiveness to improve that weakness. Strong safety Jordan Babineaux should develop into a Pro Bowler this year.
The inability to play consistent defense was the Patriots’ biggest issue a year ago. That was not a major issue since New England lit up the scoreboard so regularly, but head coach Bill Belichick is expecting much more. Look for an All-Pro year from defensive tackle Vince Wilfork.
Special Teams
The Titans’ special teams had solid results in both punt return differential and kickoff return differential, but they committed a slew of penalties that made their performance questionable. Rob Bironas is an accurate and reliable kicker.
Winner Placekicker Stephen Gostkowksi is one of the most consistent producers in the business, but he does not get depth on his kickoffs. Punter Zoltan Mesko had 41.5 yard net average last year and Julian Edelman is a solid punt returner.

The Winner Is

New England Patriots v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Winner Patriots
3 out of 4

The Patriots appear to be the class of the AFC as the season gets under way, while the Titans are going to try to get it done with hustle and a hard-hitting defense. That won’t be enough in this game as the Patriots should open the season with a solid road win.

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  1. INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 20:  Andrew Luck #12 of the Indianapolis Colts runs with the ball during the second half of the game against the Tennessee Titans at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 20, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 27:  Ryan Fitzpatrick #14 of the New York Jets looks to throw a pass against the New England Patriots in the game at MetLife Stadium on November 27, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Justin Heiman/Getty Images)
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  2. OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 27:  Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers looks to pass against the Oakland Raiders during their NFL game on November 27, 2016 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 27:  Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks runs for several yards on the quarterback keeper during the second quarter of an NFL game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on November 27, 2016 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
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  3. TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 27:  Quarterback Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks for a receiver during the third quarter of an NFL game against the Seattle Seahawks on November 27, 2016 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images) SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 13:  Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers passes the ball during a game against the Miami Dolphins at Qualcomm Stadium on November 13, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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