The Tennessee Titans have secured the top position in the AFC and do not enter the playoffs until the Divisional Round. Derrick Henry’s comeback is hotly anticipated, but not statistically necessary.
Nashville/Munich – The “King” is back with the Tennessee Titans.
We’re talking about Derrick Henry, of course, the star running back is back with the Titans squad after breaking his foot in Week 8. He went through his first practice session with contact on Wednesday and then gave the green light.
That means Henry will be back in time for the playoff showdown against the Cincinnati Bengals and ready to strike fear into opposing defenses with his runs.
“I love football and it’s been that way since I was five years old. You definitely appreciate the game a lot more when you’re not a part of it and also away from your teammates,” the running back told a media roundtable this week.
Titans with similar record after Henry’s loss
When asked about his physical condition, the 28-year-old told us that both legs would feel the same. The only difference, he said, was “a big metal plate” in his right foot.
So Henry had to watch, or was allowed to watch, on the sofa at home as the Titans functioned without him. He was “the biggest cheerleader”, Henry said. With him, the Nashville team achieved a record of 6-2, without the superstar there was a 6-3 record.
But even more impressive are the Titans’ statistical stats. With Henry, Head Coach Mike Vrabel’s team ran for a total of 1,181 yards, 937 of which came from the running back. After Henry’s foot injury, the running game still remained the biggest weapon in the Titans game.
The Titans averaged just 11.8 fewer rushing yards per game after their star went down. This continued to keep a lot of pressure off quarterback Ryan Tannehill, while also keeping Tennessee in possession of the ball longer than their respective opponents in the majority of their games.
Henry gives Tennessee Titans an extra dimension
In addition, the receiver duo of A.J. Brown and Julio Jones are getting stronger and were able to rejuvenate last week after the first round of playoffs in the AFC did not include Titans participation.
Despite those strong stats during Henry’s absence, the 28-year-old adds an extra dimension to the Titans game. After all, opposing defenses must adjust to Henry’s return, allowing either him or his teammates more room to flourish.
If the running back doesn’t need any start-up time and if the Titans can continue to play their style of play unimpressed, it would only take two wins and the team from Nashville would be in the Super Bowl – for the second time since 2000.
Then, at the latest, it would be “Long live King Henry”.