6 Reasons why the Patriots won in Week 15

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David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

1. Success defending third downs

In my Thursday bold predictions article, I projected that the Patriots wouldn’t allow more than 33 percent success on third downs in this game. Not to toot my own horn, but I got that one right—the Patriots allowed the Titans to move the sticks on just three of their 12 attempts, good for a success rate of 25 percent.

Save for Delanie Walker’s 57-yard touchdown catch and scamper through the meat of the secondary, the Patriots defense played disciplined throughout the game, and that was especially clear on third down. The Titans actually had the ball longer than the Patriots (30:23 compared to 29:37), so it’s impressive that the Patriots allowed only three first downs on third down the entire game.

So there you have it. The Patriots won big in Week 15 as a result of balanced play calling on offense, LaFell securing catches, White’s continued success as a pass catcher, solid front seven play, turnovers forced and excellent third down defense.

Next: Week 16 AFC Power Rankings: Chiefs rise to No. 2

Now, the attention turns to the Week 16 showdown with the Jets, essentially the Patriots’ last meaningful game of the regular season as long as they take care of business.