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Titans’ Logan Ryan slams the door on Patriots’ playoff hopes with pick-six

Titans cornerback Logan Ryan had to stay loose. In a game in which he was tasked with stopping the Patriots' leading receiver in Julian Edelman and facing a quarterback destined for the Hall of Fame in Tom Brady, Ryan and the rest of the secondary kept their poise, and that made all the difference in helping the Titans win 20-13 on Saturday at Gillette Stadium to advance to the AFC divisional round.

"He's going to make plays. He's gonna be a good quarterback. He's gonna put the team in a good place," Ryan said of Brady. "They're going to get the ball to the playmakers like (James) White and Edelman. We had better poise in the second half and got them to punt and kick field goals, keeping the score low."

Both Ryan and cornerback Adoree' Jackson attested to the wild atmosphere at Gillette Stadium and the importance of keeping their composure. Ryan said it was "a different feeling than coming here two years ago." The Titans lost that game 35-14 in the divisional round.

A part of that difference was the well-traveled Titans fans who cheered on their team, despite the rainy forecast with a temperature in the low 40s. Fans arrived long before kickoff, and Ryan noticed.

And he gave them something to remember the trip by, sealing the victory with an interception return for a score.

For Ryan, the interception not only called 'game,' but it was a successful shot at redemption, following a potential interception he mishandled with 23 seconds left in the first half. If Ryan had caught that pass and ran it in for a score, it would have given the Titans an eight-point lead going into the intermission.

He called it the "easiest pick of my career." He got redemption later in the game. So did the team.

"This time, we believed we could win," he said. "I think that showed. We were challenged and we didn't back down."

Jackson agreed.

"We didn't go out there worrying about getting beat," he said. "We're just out playing our game and playing ball. Coach (Mike) Vrabel always talks about when you're out there, think about the worst thing that can happen on the field and eliminate that (thought). We just had to play within the defense and play in our scheme."


Neither Ryan nor Jackson backed down from Edelman, limiting the wide receiver to three catches for 30 yards and Brady to no touchdown passes. Edelman had entered the game with 100 receptions for 1,117 yards.

Jackson's potion for poise? It was something he told himself just before kickoff.

"I asked the Lord myself to remove all the nerves and jitters that I may have," he said. "I told myself to have fun, be great, play great and to just be legendary."



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