6 Reasons why the Patriots won in Week 15

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3. Front seven ferocity

Once again, the Patriots’ front seven showed up ready to play. The unit allowed just 59 yards on the ground, surrendering just 2.8 yards per rush. When the Titans dropped back to pass, they didn’t have any upgrade in that arena, as the Patriots registered five sacks of Zach Mettenberger and Marcus Mariota.

Chandler Jones set a career high for sacks in a season (12.5) by recording a pair of quarterback takedowns in week 15. The fourth-year pro also forced a fumble which resulted in an Akiem Hicks recovery and touchdown, just like he did in his rookie debut against the Titans in the 2012 season opener.

Pats can clinch No. 1 seed with win over Jets

Jamie Collins, Jabaal Sheard and Hicks also each recorded a sack. Although he didn’t wrap up Mettenberger or Mariota himself, Rob Ninkovich had himself a day generating pressure, as proven by his quarterback hit on the stat sheet.

Considering the amount of high draft stock splattered throughout the entire defense, you would expect the group to be playing at such a high level. It’s gotten to the point where it’s just as fun to watch the front seven suffocate quarterbacks and force three and outs as it is to see Brady step back to pass.

Next: 2. Hat trick of forced turnovers