FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A winter storm named Henry rolled through New England on Saturday. That's also what rolled through the Patriots at Gillette Stadium.
The Tennessee Titans rode Derrick Henry to a 20-13 victory against the New England Patriots in the AFC wild-card round as the running back ran for 182 yards -- the most against a Bill Belichick-coached Patriots team in a playoff game.
Henry is the first player to rush for over 100 yards against New England in the postseason since the Seattle Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch gained 102 yards in Super Bowl XLIX after the 2014 season, and he joined Hall of Famer Marcus Allen as the only former Heisman Trophy winners to record multiple 150-yard rushing games in the postseason in NFL history.
The rain and cold weather set the scene for what would be a tough battle between two physical teams.
"That's the way we like it. ... We don't want it easy, we want it greedy, we want it dirty. That's the mentality we've got to have," Henry said. "My main focus is finishing each and every drive on all three phases. Don't give up on each other, believe, communicate while we out there, what we're seeing so we can make adjustments as a team. ... Keep striving and finishing the game."
Tennessee's game plan was to get into the fourth quarter with a lead and use a steady dose of Henry to close it out.
"He has a defensive mindset on offense. I feel like that's what makes him so unique," linebacker Rashaan Evans said of Henry. "Guys don't want to tackle him for four quarters. It's obvious. The fact that he continues to run the ball and pound defenses, it helps us tremendously."
Playing on his 26th birthday, Henry set the tone early by picking up over 100 yards in the first half. The 6-foot-3, 247-pound back carried the ball five times for 50 yards during the final drive in the second quarter.
Henry also caught a screen pass for 22 yards that set up his 1-yard touchdown plunge just before halftime to give the Titans the lead for good.
"He made a couple of big runs, but it was the consistency that he has down in and down out," Tennessee quarterback Ryan Tannehill said. "It's the physicality that he brings. He's so hard to tackle. The offensive line did a good job creating creases for him. There at the end, they were loading the box but he was still getting us positive yards."
Henry's rushing yards were the second-most by a player on his birthday in NFL history, regular season or playoffs, according to Elias Sports Bureau research. His performance trails only Bo Jackson, who on his 25th birthday in 1987 ran for 221 yards against the Seahawks in Week 12.
"We love the guy, and all of us told him happy birthday today. He ran it like it was his birthday," center Ben Jones said. "We wanted him to have this kind of day, and he showed out."
The Titans handed the Patriots their earliest playoff exit since the 2009 season, when they lost to the Baltimore Ravens in the wild-card round. Tennessee coach Mike Vrabel secured his first playoff victory at the expense of his former team and coach, Belichick.
Now the Titans have a date with the top-seeded Ravens in Baltimore in the divisional round next Saturday.
"We're going to enjoy this one, we know who Baltimore is, we'll get ready for them tomorrow," Henry said. "We know exactly what we are facing."