Entering the season with great optimism after a youthful overhaul of the defense, the Patriots took to LP Field in Nashville, Tennessee to take on the Titans. The 2012 season's opening quarter would bring both good and bad for the Patriots.
On the game's first drive, rookie quarterback Jake Locker would drive his team deep into New England territory, eventually settling for a field goal from reliable place kicker Rob Bironas. The most surprising play of the drive came in the form of a 24-yard completion to Nate Washington on fourth and short from just outside the Patriots' 35-yard-line.
When the Patriots' offense took the field for the first time of the season, it was a pair of near-miss throws that halted what could have been an impressive season-opening possession. First, quarterback Tom Brady and new target Brandon Lloyd couldn't quite hit on what would have been a 60-plus yard touchdown. Then, Brady and Wes Welker missed on what would have been a 20-yard first down gain.
New England would storm back on their next drive with an impressive balance of run and pass, eventually leading to an Aaron Hernandez touchdown pass and a 7-3 Patriots' lead.