"It's about giving yourself the opportunity this time of the year to compete and play in games like this, and to win games like this".
The Vegas betting line made the Patriots a 13½-point favorite.
New England (13-3) had a first-round playoff bye.
If he's back to 100 percent effectiveness, Hogan can provide another dimension for Tom Brady in an already unsafe Patriots offense which features Cooks, Rob Gronkowski, and Dion Lewis among many others.
But former defensive end Umenyiora, who was on both of the New York Giants teams that inflicted those losses on Brady and the Patriots, does not believe another title is necessary for the signal-caller's place in history.
After a drama-filled week, the quarterback says his focus remains exclusively on football as his team prepares to host the Titans in Saturday's divisional round.
The Titans looked good early, scoring late in the first quarter with over 100 yards of offence. Brady completed 35 of 53 passes for 337 yards.
In a joint statement last week, all three men brushed aside any insinuation of strife at the top of one of the NFL's jewel franchises.
Like so many athletes who must deal with off-the-field distractions, it sure looked like being on the football field with his teammates was a sanctuary of sorts for Brady.
"We do what we always do", he said. They did a lot of good things and I hate for it to come to an end. "You play to win the whole thing", Mariota said.
Tennessee recognizes the challenge it faces against Brady.
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Hogan missed the final three games of the season. However, they managed just 159 yards the rest of the way as the Patriots' defence kept the Tennessee ground game in check. Better QB usually wins these games. So I don't really care if it was Joe Montana. Derrick Henry got it to 21-16 on a 35-yard TD run early in the fourth, and Mariota hit Eric Decker for the game-winning 22-yard score with 6:06 to go. I'm trying to go out there and win the game. Quarterback Marcus Mariota laid up a nice pass to him.
Belichick, meanwhile, delivered a blunt riposte to the theory that he could be ready to walk away from the Patriots following the report rift with Kraft and Brady over the Garoppolo move.
At age 40, Brady is the oldest remaining quarterback in the playoffs. But this seems like a very tall order for a young team - led by Marcus Mariota under center.
While I don't think the Patriots are as strong of a team as they've been in past years, they're still clearly one of the best teams in the AFC.
Since 2001, quarterbacks making their first or second career playoff start are 0-7 against New England.
They are the ones that matter and you won't find one player or coach that will agree with those on sports talk radio, TV sportscasters and any other columnists and talking heads. It will be all hands on deck and time to go work come kickoff.
Instead what we saw was an offense that easily picked apart the leagues 25th-ranked pass defense.
Quarterback Matt Ryan is adamant that the Falcons, who finished the regular season 10-6, have the ability to upset the No.1 seeded Eagles. Also similarly, the Titans have a running game that the Patriots are looking to neutralize. They were so brutal that the Titans couldn't even get into field goal range.
Brady isn't taking anything for granted.
"Everybody plays with something", he said.