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
The Titans are taking a big chance to get back into the NFL playoff picture as they turn the quarterback reigns over to strong-armed Jake Locker. He has the kind of athleticism and guts to make clutch plays when the game is on the line
Winner Tom Brady is a Hall of Fame quarterback who has a lot more going for him than his three Super Bowl championships and five Super Bowl appearances. Brady is an accurate, alert and strong-armed passer whose greatest asset may be his hunger to improve on an every-season basis.
Offense
Head coach 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 explosive running back Chris Johnson, who struggled to hit the home run a year ago. Rookie 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 by halftime or control the clock and keep an opponent from getting back into the game. No offense gets the production from its tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez that the Patriots do, but it’s Wes Welker who will make plays when the game is on the line.
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.
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
2 out of 3

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.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 25:  Odell Beckham #13 of the New York Giants breaks a tackle by Josh Norman #24 of the Washington Redskins in the second half at MetLife Stadium on September 25, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 25:   Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers runs the ball against Everson Griffen #97 and Tom Johnson #92 of the Minnesota Vikings in the 1st half during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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  2. KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 25: Center Mitch Morse #61 of the Kansas City Chiefs prepares to snap the ball to Alex Smith #11 at Arrowhead Stadium during the second quarter of the game against the New York Jets on September 25, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 25: Quarterback  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers passes against  Bennie Logan #96 of the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on September 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
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  3. ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 25:  Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys throws against the Chicago Bears in the fourth quarter at AT&T Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Running back Carlos Hyde #28 of the San Francisco 49ers rushes for a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on September 25, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks defeated the 49ers 37-18.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
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