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Patriots to face Titans in divisional round Saturday night

January 07. 2018 9:38PM
Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) looks for room to run against the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday during the AFC Wild Card playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. The Titans advanced, 22-21, and will play the Patriots on Saturday. (David Eulitt/Kansas City Star/TNS)

The New England Patriots begin their quest for a third Super Bowl title in four seasons on Saturday when they meet the Tennessee Titans in the NFL playoffs. Champions in the 2014 and 2016 seasons, the Patriots (13-3) are aiming for a sixth Super Bowl title, all with the now 40-year-old Tom Brady at quarterback. They will be big favorites in the American Football Conference (AFC) divisional round having won their last six meetings with the Titans, including a 2015 game. Tennessee (10-7), who have not won in New England since 1993, advanced to Saturday’s game with a 22-21 wildcard victory over the AFC West champion Kansas City Chiefs. The top team in the National Football Conference, the Philadelphia Eagles, host the Atlanta Falcons (11-6) on Saturday.

Atlanta, who blew a 25-point lead in an overtime loss to New England in last year’s Super Bowl, scored a 26-13 wildcard victory over the NFC West champion Los Angeles Rams.

The Eagles, who won the NFC East with a 13-3 record but are missing injured quarterback Carson Wentz, hold an 18-14-1 all-time mark against the Falcons, with the last win coming in 2016.

Divisional round games continue on Sunday with the AFC North champion Pittsburgh Steelers (13-3), who like the Patriots and Eagles had a first-round bye, hosting AFC South winner Jacksonville Jaguars (11-6).

NFC North winner Minnesota Vikings (13-3) face NFC South champion New Orleans Saints (12-5).

Jacksonville, who beat the Buffalo Bills 10-3 to set up a meeting with the Steelers, enjoy a surprising 13-11 all-time record over Pittsburgh, including a 30-9 victory in October.

New Orleans held off the Carolina Panthers for the third time this season on Sunday, winning 31-26.

The Vikings are 21-11 all-time against the Saints including a 29-19 regular season victory in September

Next weekend’s divisional winners will meet on Jan. 21 for Conference titles with the victors playing for the Super Bowl on Feb. 4 in Minneapolis.

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Divisional round schedule

Saturday, Jan. 13

NFC: Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles, 4:35 p.m.

AFC: Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots, 8:15 p.m.

Sunday, Jan. 14

AFC: Jacksonville Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers, 1:05 p.m.

NFC: New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings, 4:40 p.m.

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Wilson, North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherford; )


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