The New England Patriots trample the Tennessee Titans 35-14

Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are returning to the AFC Championship Game after opening their title defense with a 35-14 win over the Tennessee Titans in a divisional playoff game Saturday night in Foxborough, Mass.

Brady completed 35 of 53 passes for 337 yards and three touchdowns, his NFL-record 10th career playoff game with three or more TDs. Danny Amendola caught 11 passes for 112 yards for the Patriots.

Top-seeded New England will play in its seventh straight AFC title game next Sunday, hosting either the Pittsburgh Steelers or the Jacksonville Jaguars.

See more photos from the game:

18 PHOTOS
New England Patriots vs. Tennessee Titans
See Gallery
New England Patriots vs. Tennessee Titans
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 13: Brandon Bolden #38 of the New England Patriots attempts to block a punt by Brett Kern #6 of the Tennessee Titans in the second half in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 13: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, right, shares a moment with veteran offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia, left, on the sidelines. The New England Patriots host the Tennessee Titans in an NFL AFC Divisional Playoff game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass, Jan. 13, 2018. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 13: Lawrence Guy #93 and Ricky Jean Francois #94 of the New England Patriots react after a sack during the fourth quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game against the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 13: Brandon Bolden #38 of the New England Patriots carries the ball during the third quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game against the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 13: New England Patriots Deatrich Wise Jr., left, sacks Marcus Mariota, right, during fourth quarter action. The New England Patriots host the Tennessee Titans in an NFL AFC Divisional Playoff game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass, Jan. 13, 2018. (Photo by Stan Grossfeld/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 13: Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots catches a touchdown pass as he is defended by Kevin Byard #31 of the Tennessee Titans during the fourth quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 13: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots hands the ball offsides to Brandon Bolden #38 during the third quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game against hte Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 13: Jonathan Jones #31 of the New England Patriots is injured during the fourth quarter of the AFC Divisional Playoff game against the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 13: Corey Davis #84 of the Tennessee Titans catches a touchdown pass during the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 13: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots throws the ball during the fourth quarter of the AFC Divisional Playoff game against the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 13: Chris Hogan #15 of the New England Patriots reacts during the fourth quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game against the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 13: New England Patriots Rob Gronkowski catches the ball for a touchdown against Tennessee Titans Kevin Byard in the fourth quarter. The New England Patriots host the Tennessee Titans in an NFL AFC Divisional Playoff game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass, Jan. 13, 2018. (Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 13: Jonnu Smith #81 of the Tennessee Titans is injured during the third quarter of the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 13: A New England Patriots fan holds a sign during the game. The New England Patriots host the Tennessee Titans in an NFL AFC Divisional Playoff game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass, Jan. 13, 2018. (Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 13: Tom Brady #12 reacts with Danny Amendola #80 of the New England Patriots after a touchdown in the third quarter of the AFC Divisional Playoff game against the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 13: Dion Lewis #33 of the New England Patriots carries the ball in the third quarter of the AFC Divisional Playoff game against the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 13: James White #28 of the New England Patriots carries the ball for a touchdown as he is defended by Kevin Byard #31 of the Tennessee Titans in the first quarter of the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 13: James White #28 of the New England Patriots reacts with Tom Brady #12 after scoring a touchdown in the second quarter of the AFC Divisional Playoff game against the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

"It was a great team win overall," Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski said on CBS. "On offense, everyone contributed. It was great. The wide receivers, running backs, tight ends. We all came in together and we worked together to get this win."

Quarterback Marcus Mariota finished 22 of 37 for 254 yards and two touchdowns and also led the Titans in rushing with 37 yards. Corey Davis made five grabs for 62 yards and two scores.

After beating the Kansas City Chiefs 22-21 in the wild-card round last week, Tennessee fell short of its first AFC title-game berth since 2002.

The Titans last beat the Patriots in 2002 and have not won in Foxborough since 1993, when the franchise played in Houston.

The Patriots had a playoff-franchise-record eight sacks in the game.

New England padded its 21-7 halftime lead and effectively sealed the result with Brandon Bolden's 2-yard touchdown rush with 4:02 remaining in the third quarter.

Brady's 4-yard TD pass to Gronkowski (six catches, 81 yards) made it 35-7 with 10:22 left in the fourth.

Brady shrugged off another thought that the Patriots were distracted by a bye-week ESPN report indicating a rift between himself, coach Bill Belichick and team owner Robert Kraft.

"You know what? No," he said of whether the report affected the team. "I've been around long enough, 18 years. There's so many nice things said about me. It just goes with the territory. I just try to be consistent. Show up and do the best I can do every week for the team. ...

"Being on the field, it's a great place. That's where you go prove it. You can talk all day about what you're going to do or what you can do. Ultimately, you have to go out there and do it. ... This team has done such a good job this year, focusing on what we need to."

Mariota connected with Davis for an 11-yard TD in garbage time with 1:55 to play.

"We have to use this as motivation," Mariota said of the defeat, according to WKRN.com of Nashville. "You can't hurt yourself. It's tough to get in a hole and dig yourself out."

Tennessee led 7-0 after Davis' one-handed touchdown grab on a 15-yard pass from Mariota capped a 95-yard drive with 1:14 left in the first quarter. It was Davis' first career NFL touchdown catch.

After a 50-yard TD pass from Brady to Dion Lewis was negated when Lewis was ruled down at the Tennessee 19, the Patriots tied the game on Brady's 5-yard shovel pass to James White at 13:18 of the second.

White's 6-yard TD run with 9:20 to go in the half gave the Pats their first lead at 14-7. Brady tossed his second TD to Chris Hogan from 4 yards out with 1:52 to play before the break.

--Field Level Media

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.