As I watched Derrick Henry rip apart the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second half of Sunday’s 37-16 win, it was very apparent that this team was operating better with Derrick Henry as the lead back. DeMarco Murray started the game, but was totally ineffective.
Murray finished with 9 carries for 25 yards, while Henry finished with 14 carries for 94 yards and a score. Murray’s 2.8 yards per carry doesn’t compare to Henry’s 6.6.
Murray was said to have a hamstring injury, which may offer us some explanation. You can’t deny what you saw today, though. Henry looked like the more physical runner. He looked fresh and explosive. He made things happen when things weren’t there.
Henry got five yards instead of the two that were in front of him. He changed the game by maximizing his carries. The Titans’ offense was clearly better with him back there, at least today.
If you look at this graphic though, this has been brewing for a while. Take a closer look.
Derrick Henry has more yards per carry, rushing yards, and rushing touchdowns than DeMarco Murray in the Titans' last 5 games pic.twitter.com/IsYCgNMf3G— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) September 17, 2017
That’s a staggering difference. Maybe Murray is hurting still, but he doesn’t look like the 2016 version of himself. Henry is the more dynamic guy and the Titans should keep rolling with the hot hand.
We’ll take a look at the All-22 when it’s available, but Henry looked great against a tough front upon first viewing today. We may have just seen the beginning of the Derrick Henry era in Nashville.