KNOWLEDGE OF OTHER PLAYERS- We were on the receiving end of some inside knowledge game planning when Matt Patricia and the Lions beat the piss out of thse Patriots. This week the knowledge of other players will benefit the Patriots. While Vrabel and several players know the Patriots pretty well, the knowledge that the Patriots have about the Titans will be much more useful.
As you've probably heard, read, saw, said, etc., Butler isn't having a very good year. In my opinion, his strength has always been what's between his ears. Brady previously spoke of how Butler got him several times the summer of his rookie season. Butler won the Super Bowl when he recognized a play that the scout team ran in practice that week. In practice he got burned on the play and in the game he made history. Today I'm not anticipating Butler making an awesome play with his anticipation, but I do see Brady making him look foolish when he bites on what he thinks is happening.
SPECIAL TEAMS- Although the Patriots special teams hasn't been their dominant self this season, I am expecting them to win the day. In my opinion the key to the special teams having a great day is having Gostkowski kick it through the endzone every time not allowing the Titans to get something going with a big return. This season the Titans have had the 2nd best field position after kickoff. Only returning 8 kickoffs, they have the longest return of the season with a 102 yard touchdown. Since the Titans offense is two touchdowns inferior to the Patriots, there's no reason to give them an opportunity to get a special teams score.
While I don't anticipate Ryan Allen doing much more than holding for extra points, should he need to punt, deep and out the sideline just like last week. With Matthew Slater not being at 100%, it's probably in the Patriots best interest to not have to cover on special teams.
MARIOTA- Three games ago Mariota was sacked 11 times and had 10 completions. Last year in the playoffs the Patriots got to him 8 times. He may have a similar day today.