Tennessee Titans: The True Significance of Beating the New England Patriots

Benjamin MottCorrespondent IIISeptember 8, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 18:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots is sacked by Jason Jones #91 of the Tennessee Titans on October 18, 2009 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

On Sunday, the Tennessee Titans will battle the New England Patriots, a foe they haven't faced very often and one they have recently struggled to defeat.

The Patriots have won the last four meetings, including a 59-0 drubbing of the Titans in their last meeting, a snowy battle in Foxboro, Mass., on October 18, 2009.

This time around, the Titans are a stronger team, with the Patriots a bit weaker on paper. Then again, that's why you play the games.

This season, a Titans victory over the Patriots would be absolutely huge. On paper, this probably would be their toughest game of the season, with the Patriots coming off a 13-3 2011-12 campaign that ended in a Super Bowl XLVI loss to the New York Giants.

Tom Brady and company obviously will come into the game with a huge chip on their shoulder, and with weapons like Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, and Rob Gronkowski, the Titans are in for a tough game.

That said, if the Titans can pull of what would be considered a huge upset victory, not only would their confidence skyrocket, but it would send a message to all of the other teams in the league that this team is on the rise.

It also will get analysts around the league to finally notice the Titans.

They have the talent and the coaching to do so. It's just a matter of execution. When you play against a team like the New England Patriots, there is minimal room for error. Turnovers and penalties just cannot happen in a game like this. If they do, this could end up being a long day for the Titans.

Offensively, the Titans will go with Jake Locker at quarterback. This will be his first NFL start. The Patriots aren't an ideal team for a QB to face in his NFL debut, but if Locker plays the way that he played last season in limited action, the Patriots are in for a long day defensively.

The Patriots have not lost a season opener since 2003, meaning history is not on the Titans' side. However, in the NFL, absolutely anything can happen from week to week.

Sooner or later, the Patriots will have to drop a season opener, and, at least from the Titans' point of view, what better day to do it than this Sunday?