Patriots Upset by Titans in Wild Card Round

Photo+Courtesy+of+Bill+Sikes%2FAP+Photo%0A

Photo Courtesy of Bill Sikes/AP Photo

Bo Zanardi

Foxborough, Mass. — For the first time since 2009, the New England Patriots played in a wild card game in the playoffs. After making the conference championship eight years in a row, the Patriots wouldn’t have a first-round bye week going into the playoffs.

In the wild card game, the 12 and 4 Patriots faced off against Ryan Tannehill, and the 9 and 7 Tennessee Titans. The best defense in the NFL allowed the number one rushing offense, as well as lead Titan running back  Derrick Henry to dice them up for 182 yards and a touchdown.

Both passing offenses struggled and Tennessee came out on top.  The Patriots were unable to get the ground game going.

As a result of the Patriots dropping this game, and many questions have arisen about the organization and its future. 

The Patriots’ offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is likely to leave the team for a head coaching job as his contract with the team has expired. The big issue everyone has been talking about is Tom Brady’s contract expiring. Brady is now 42 years old and will turn 43 by the start of the next season. 

Rumors about Brady retiring, resigning with the Patriots but for an elevated price, or possibly signing with a new team have been swirling around the media over the last week.  According to a transcript posted on the New England Patriot’s website, Brady said that retirement is unlikely. 

According to sportswriter Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, if Brady signs back in New England, he won’t take a discounted contract.  “I’m told if he does go back to the Patriots, he doesn’t want to do the same hometown discount he’s done in the past,” Glazer said per his sources. 

The organization hasn’t been focused on their upcoming free agent, however, according to head coach, Bill Belichick.

“Nobody has thought about the future. Everybody’s been focused and working on Miami and then Tennessee, and that’s where all the focus should have been and where it was. Whatever’s in the future, we’ll deal with at some later point in time,” Belichick said according to a press conference transcript released on Jan. 5. 

Two years ago, Patriots owner Robert Kraft forced Belichick to trade away their younger backup quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, to the San Francisco 49ers against Belichick’s wishes, so it will be interesting to see how the Patriots deal with their situation at quarterback over this upcoming offseason.

Losing this early in the playoffs has shocked Patriots fans and players, and has brought up a lot of questions surrounding their organization.