The New England Patriots hold a big 24-3 lead over the Tennessee Titans at halftime, and the game isn't as close as the score.
After winning the coin toss and deferring to the second half, the Patriots defense held the Titans offense to a a quick three-and-out. Quarterback Tom Brady responded by leading the Patriots on a methodical 11-play, 79-yard opening drive culminating in an easy touchdown pass to tight end Rob Gronkowski.
The Patriots and Titans exchanged punts before the Titans offense broke down. Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones managed to breach the offensive line to strip sack quarterback Marcus Mariota, with the ball subsequently recovered and returned for a touchdown by big defensive tackle Akiem Hicks, who is stepping into a larger role due to an injury to Dominique Easley.
The Patriots were going to bury the Titans with another three-and-out, but wide receiver Danny Amendola fumbled the punt, which Tennessee recovered on the Patriots 26-yard-line. This marks three punt return fumbles in the past four games for New England, and four straight games of special teams turnovers, which is truly unacceptable.
The defense, led by linebackers Jamie Collins and Dont'a Hightower, pushed the Titans back from the 26-yard-line to the 31-yard-line on the ensuing drive, and the Titans managed to connect on the field goal attempt for their only points of the half.
Wide receiver Keshawn Martin, trying to get out of the dog house, returned the kick off 75 yards to the Titans 30-yard-line, and Brady connected with running back James White for a 30-yard touchdown pass two plays later.
The Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski connected on a field goal before the half to give the Patriots a 24-3 lead, which typically would have been the final score of the half, but a 3-and-out by the Titans gave the ball right back after just sixteen seconds to the Patriots with 1:13 left on the clock.
Unfortunately, kicker Stephen Gostkowski missed the 48-yard field goal, or else the Patriots would be up by even more.
It's all okay because running back Joey Iosefa did this:
IOSEFA HAS NO CHILL pic.twitter.com/OnJHl6GEQf— Rich Hill (@PP_Rich_Hill) December 20, 2015
New England gets the ball after the half.