FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — It was closer than it should have been, but the New England Patriots defeated the Tennessee Titans 33-16 Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium.

Tom Brady threw two touchdown passes, to Rob Gronkowski and James White in the first half, and Stephen Gostkowski kicked four field goals for New England, which improved to 12-2. Tennessee dropped to 3-11. Joseph Iosefa, a fullback signed off the practice squad Saturday, led the Patriots with 51 yards rushing.

New England’s defense had five sacks, two fourth-quarter interceptions and scored a touchdown on a fumble recovery.

The Patriots’ defense dominated the first half, with four sacks of Tennessee’s two quarterbacks, in taking a 24-3 halftime lead. They held the Titans to just 1 for 8 in third-down conversions, and stopped Tennessee short on a fourth-and-1. New England held the Titans to just 58 net yards in the first half.

And oh, yeah, the defense scored a touchdown as well. Chandler Jones stripped the ball from quarterback Marcus Mariota and it rolled backward, with defensive tackle Akiem Hicks recovering it in the end zone for the touchdown.

Not all news was good for the Patriots. Wide receiver Danny Amendola left with a left knee injury in the second quarter and did not return. And linebacker Dont’a Hightower, active after missing the last two games with an injury, left with a knee injury in the third. Starting safety Patrick Chung suffered a hip injury in the fourth quarter.

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