Patriots rout Titans 35-14, move on to AFC Championship Game

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — To borrow the words of the late Dennis Green, “They are who we thought they were.”

Did anyone really think the New England Patriots, who thumped the Tennessee Titans 35-14 Saturday night, would take the field in the divisional round of the playoffs and look like anything less than the New England Patriots?

Sure, Tom Brady had just emerged from a less-than-stellar December (completing just 61.3% of his passes while recording six touchdowns, five interceptions and a passer rating of 81.6).

Yep, the Patriots defense had struggled this season against mobile quarterbacks — think Alex Smith, Deshaun Watson and Cam Newton — and that provided a degree of hope for the Titans and their dual-threat signal-caller Marcus Mariota.

And yes, there had been whispers about friction between owner Robert Kraft, coach Bill Belichick, and Brady. Such speculation, fueled by an explosive ESPN story, raised the question about the immediate and long-term stability of the union.

But keep it real. These are still the Patriots.

Belichick remains one of the best game-planners, and he always gets his players to buy in. Meanwhile, Brady remains an effective

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