New England Patriots defeat Tennessee Titans, 17-14

FOXBOROUGH -- There are lots of Zach Pillers in football America.

There are lots of people who see the Patriots grind their way to 13 wins in a row and wonder if this truly is the face of dominance.

It's OK. There are going to be Pillers in your office, school, and barbershop. There are going to be Pillers in Kansas City and Indianapolis. There are going to be Pillers from here all the way to Reliant Stadium in Houston.

Get used to it. And be secure enough to accept ...

FOXBOROUGH -- There was hardly the abundance of riches that the Patriots' defense sometimes enjoys, but one pickoff was enough.

At 3:59 of the first period, Steve McNair threw a sideline pass intended for tight end Shad Meier. Safety Rodney Harrison closed off Meier's route from the inside, and at the last moment snatched the ball for the only interception of the night.

What ensued after the Patriots took over at their 43 was a 57-yard drive that carried New England ...

FOXBOROUGH -- Give him credit. He called it. Bill Belichick predicted a week ago that last night's AFC divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium against the Tennessee Titans would be the Patriots' toughest game of the season. It sounded like a cliche when he said it. But Belichick couldn't have been more accurate.

Playing in the coldest game in franchise history (4 degrees, minus-10 windchill at kickoff), the top-seeded Patriots held on for a 17-14 win over the wild-c...

FOXBOROUGH -- When it was over, when the Tennessee Titans had come so close, once again, their quarterback and team conscience, Steve McNair, had a simple message for his teammates.

"I told the guys afterward that I'm tired of coming up short," McNair said in the aftermath of last night's 17-14 AFC divisional playoff loss to the Patriots at Gillette Stadium. "I told the guys we've got to find a way to get over the hump."

McNair almost made it happen last night. He wa...

FOXBOROUGH -- There are lots of Zach Pillers in football America. There are lots of people who see the Patriots grind their way to 13 wins in a row and wonder if this truly is the face of dominance.

It's OK. There are going to be Pillers in your office, school, and barbershop. There are going to be Pillers in Kansas City and Indianapolis. There are going to be Pillers from here all the way to Reliant Stadium in Houston.

Get used to it. And be secure enough to accept ...

FOXBOROUGH -- There was hardly the abundance of riches that the Patriots' defense sometimes enjoys, but one pickoff was enough.

At 3:59 of the first period, Steve McNair threw a sideline pass intended for tight end Shad Meier. Safety Rodney Harrison closed off Meier's route from the inside, and at the last moment snatched the ball for the only interception of the night.

What ensued after the Patriots took over at their 43 was a 57-yard drive that carried New England ...

FOXBOROUGH -- Give him credit. He called it. Bill Belichick predicted a week ago that last night's AFC divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium against the Tennessee Titans would be the Patriots' toughest game of the season. It sounded like a cliche when he said it. But Belichick couldn't have been more accurate.

Playing in the coldest game in franchise history (4 degrees, minus-10 windchill at kickoff), the top-seeded Patriots held on for a 17-14 win over the wild-c...

FOXBOROUGH -- When it was over, when the Tennessee Titans had come so close, once again, their quarterback and team conscience, Steve McNair, had a simple message for his teammates.

"I told the guys afterward that I'm tired of coming up short," McNair said in the aftermath of last night's 17-14 AFC divisional playoff loss to the Patriots at Gillette Stadium. "I told the guys we've got to find a way to get over the hump."

McNair almost made it happen last night. He wa...