New England locked up a playoff bye in their 33-16 victory over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday afternoon, but the injury bug once again infected some crucial players on both sides of the ball for the Patriots.
Patrick Chung went down in the 4th quarter after an awkward play against Titans tight end Delanie Walker, Danny Amendola reinjured his leg, and even Rob Gronkowski looked timid as he ran.
The game itself was a cake walk for the Patriots, especially after Marcus Mariota exited the game with a knee injury in the 2nd quarter.
In his first appearance with the Patriots since being signed to the practice squad in October, former Hawaii running back Joey Iosefa led the Patriots with 51 yards rushing and a 15-yard run in which he trucked over Titans defensive back Coty Sensabaugh.
James White had only one carry for six yards in the running game, but was an effective weapon for Tom Brady as White caught seven passes for 71 yards and a touchdown. Brandon LaFell led Patriots receivers with 4 receptions for 81 yards while Gronkowski finished with five receptions, 54 yards, and a touchdown.
The key play in the game for the Patriots was the play where Mariota was injured. Patriots defensive end Jamie Collins shed a block and was able to sack a ducking Mariota. As his knee bent awkwardly, Mariota lost the football and Akiem Hicks took the fumble back for a Patriots touchdown to put them up 21-0.
This is exactly what the Patriots should’ve done to the Philadelphia Eagles two weeks ago, but now the Patriots need to win one of their last two games to lock up home field advantage for the playoffs.