For the third time in four years, reigning NFL Super Bowl champions the New England Patriots are the top seed in the AFC and have homefield throughout the playoffs.
The Patriots have played in six successive AFC championship games, and it will be a tough task for the Tennessee Titans to prevent New England from reaching a seventh.
The Titans (10-7) rallied from a 21-3 deficit to pull off a 22-21 wildcard win over the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.
Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota will have to be at his best on Saturday to beat the Patriots (13-3) at Gillette Stadium.
WILL THE PATRIOTS REMAIN FOCUSED?
Quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick, as well as others, were forced to answer questions all week after ESPN reported that there was turmoil atop the organisation.
Reports of discontent were quickly denied, but it would be only human nature for such a distraction to affect preparation. Still, if there is one thing the Patriots have done better than most under Belichick, it is quieting the noise.
CAN HENRY STAY HOT?
The Patriots had the NFL's 20th-ranked rush defense during the regular season, allowing a 100-yard rusher four times. The last two came in December when Miami's Kenyan Drake and Pittsburgh's Le'Veon Bell joined Kansas City's Kareem Hunt and Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon as players to eclipse the century mark against the Patriots.
Derrick Henry is coming off a 156-yard effort against the Chiefs as Tennessee's offensive line wore down Kansas City. It was Henry's third 100-yard game this season as he led the Titans during the regular season with 744 yards while splitting carries with DeMarco Murray. With Murray injured, Henry was the workhorse against the Chiefs and will have to carry the load again in Foxborough since Murray has been ruled out.
CAN THE TITANS CONTAIN GRONKOWSKI?
The Titans did not allow a tight end to have 100 receiving yards in a game this season. They were getting burned by Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce in the first half of last week's game, which changed dramatically when Kelce was injured just before half-time. Kelce had four catches for 66 yards and a touchdown in the first half.
The Titans now have to contend with Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, who led New England with 69 catches for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns in only 14 games.
Gronkowski has gone for more than 140 yards in two of his last three games, but the Titans have excellent safeties in Johnathan Cyprien and Kevin Byard, who led the NFL with eight interceptions this season.
|Injured Kusal Perera replaced by Kusal Mendis in Sri Lanka squad|
|Big names return for Scotland´s November Tests|
|Essien tells Loftus-Cheek to stay and fight for Chelsea chance|
|Nainggolan relishing challenge of first Milan derby|
|Curry: Slap me if I tire of championship celebrations|
|Sevilla don´t fear Messi or Barca – Kjaer|
|Low: Dropped Muller is still very important for Germany|
|Hayward put ´dark memories´ behind him with Celtics return|
|I hope I´m in Klopp´s good books! - Koeman jokes after resting Wijnaldum|
|Rested Fellaini should be fit for Manchester United, says Martinez|
|France´s mentality must be right - Lloris|
|Bellinger seals dramatic win as Dodgers level up NLCS|
|Curry, Durant lead Warriors past Thunder|
|Kjaer surprised by LaLiga-leading Sevilla as Machin´s men remain grounded|
|A-League preview: Honda the big arrival as fascinating season awaits|
|Mexico 0 Chile 1: Sanchez helps La Roja to late win|
|Celtics too good for 76ers in NBA opener|
|United States 1 Peru 1: Flores salvages late draw for visitors|
|Martinez not worried about Belgium depth|
|Red Sox move ahead of Astros in ALCS|
|Depay ´a joy to watch´, says Koeman|
|Timberwolves owner looking to trade Butler, backs Thibodeau|
|Shepard says Giants have ´total faith´ in Manning|
|Hazard is out of this world – De Ligt enjoys Belgium test|
|Tite: Brazil were better than Argentina|
|Foley eyes World Cup after re-signing with Wallabies, Waratahs|
|Low slams decisive France penalty call|
|I fined him for his goal at Old Trafford! Giggs delighted for Wales hero Wilson|
|Matuidi lauds Deschamps´ tactical nous after Germany win|
|Scaloni excited by Argentina despite Brazil loss|
|Tsonga back in business, Dzumhur dumped out in Moscow|
|Germany suffer six defeats in a year for first time|
|Many clubs have asked about Piatek - agent|
|Bartomeu: Barca open to defensive reinforcements after Vermaelen injury|
|Bonn spoil PAOK´s landmark European game|
|Konta conquers Mertens in Moscow|
|Republic of Ireland 0 Wales 1: Wilson stunner moves Giggs´ side top|
|France 2 Germany 1: Griezmann delivers Low blow as Les Bleus reign in Paris|
|Belgium 1 Netherlands 1: Groeneveld cancels out Mertens strike|
|Argentina 0 Brazil 1: Miranda heads late winner after rivalry fails to ignite|
|Messi would struggle in this Manchester United team – Scholes|
|Falcons place Devonta Freeman on injured reserve|
|Westbrook ruled out of Thunder opener|
|Wilder´s team open to Joshua talks|
|Brentford appoint Thomas Frank as new head coach|
|England´s perfect performance sets the standard - Trippier|
|Odell Beckham Jr. needs to create headlines on the field, says Giants owner|
|Robshaw joins list of England absentees|
|Chile need goals from Sanchez despite United form - Rueda|
|Modric reveals Ronaldo respect, ´will never play with´ Messi|
|Osaka can be one of the greats, says coach Sascha Bajin|
|Liverpool´s Naby Keita carried off injured in Guinea match|
|Duminy to miss Australia tour for shoulder surgery|
|F1 Raceweek: Ferrari ready to ´challenge the impossible´ as Hamilton nears title|
|Umesh replaces injured Thakur in ODI squad|
|IAAF delay implementation of testosterone ruling amid Semenya challenge|
|Fakhar and Sarfraz lead Pakistan recovery after Lyon blitz|
|Japan see off Uruguay in seven-goal thriller|
|Arda Turan given huge fine by Istanbul Basaksehir after alleged brawl with singer|
|Busquets no better or worse than Dier – does Opta data back up Allardyce claim?|
|United boss Mourinho charged for alleged post-match comments by FA|
|Halep withdraws from Kremlin Cup ahead of WTA Finals|
|Renato Sanches eager for further Bayern Munich minutes|
|Nations League standings: Promotion, relegation and race for finals|
|Windies coach Law banned for ´inappropriate comments´ in India Test|
|Carrick denies Manchester United stars are ´not trying´|
|Ferrari struggling under pressure of chasing Mercedes, says Massa|
|Australia desperately need Smith and Warner back - Warne|
|Draxler warns Germany: Mbappe has 300 hp!|
|Draymond Green says Warriors will have to ´bring it´ every night in the West|