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Titans-Jaguars: Derrick Henry and the Stiff Arm

Derrick Henry is a versatile back with a full arsenal of moves, but the stiff arm is his deadliest weapon...

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Titans’ running back Derrick Henry had two carries in the first half of Sunday’s game against Jacksonville. Meanwhile, DeMarco Murray had 7 carries for 22 yards in the first two quarters. The Titans took a 6-3 lead to the half.

Murray had 2 carries for 3 yards on the Titans’ first drive of the third quarter.

He didn’t play again after that.

A 46-yard punt return by Adoree’ Jackson set up the Titans with good field position. Marcus Mariota connected with Delanie Walker to put the Titans in the red zone at the Jaguar’s 17-yard line, and that’s when the Derrick Henry show began.

Henry took it 17 yards to the house for the Titans first touchdown of game. On his way to the end zone, he displayed a stiff arm move that would become legendary by the end of the game.

Henry is a good runner. He is agile, especially for his size, adept at squeezing through tight holes, as he exhibited on the above run. He has great patience and vision in letting his blocks develop and finding the creases to attack. He’s so smooth when he runs, that it almost looks like he’s gliding across the field. Not to mention his combination of power, size, and speed...

But Henry’s most dangerous weapon is the stiff arm. He uses it relentlessly, throwing it at opponents and teammates alike. Running to his left, with the right arm straight out, there’s no getting in Henry’s way.

The stiff arm was on full display against the Jaguars on Sunday.

Derrick Henry stiff arms his own teammate, Jalston Fowler, as he picks up five yards on first down (NFL Gamepass).
Again, Henry’s stiff arm finds his own teammate, this time shoving Jack Conklin out of his way (NFL Gamepass).

It’s effective against his own blockers, against smaller defensive backs, and even against large defensive tackles.

Henry stiff arms a 315-pound defensive tackle, Abry Jones, to gain the edge and pick up the first down (NFL Gamepass).

Henry’s best stiff arm of the day resulted in yards that didn’t count, as the Titans elected to take a 1st and 5 rather than 2nd and 6 after a Jaguars’ offsides penalty.

Derrick Henry stiff arms two Jaguars’ defenders in one play that ultimately didn’t count (NFL Gamepass).

Add A.J. Bouye to the list of Jags’ cornerbacks that Henry has physically dominated.

The Henry stiff arm is a thing of beauty. I can’t wait to see it in action more as Henry’s touches continue to go up.

To finish off this series, here’s Henry trucking Jalen Ramsey. It’s not a stiff arm, but it is an example of Henry dominating the Jaguars 2016 first round pick... again.

Derrick Henry trucks Jalen Ramsey to open the 4th quarter of Sunday’s game in Jacksonville (NFL Gamepass).

In fact, Ramsey was so tired of tackling Henry by the end of the game, he actually backpedaled away from Henry to avoid contact (shoutout to @bryceer15 on Twitter for spotting this one).

By this point, Jalen Ramsey had had enough of Derrick Henry... (NFL Gamepass).

(I should point out that as the single-high safety on the play, perhaps this is what Ramsey is supposed to do to prevent the big play, but still, he shies away from contact at the end of it.)