Derrick Henry is going to be a huge factor in this game. The Titans will not win if he doesn’t run well. Jeremy Bergman of NFL.com named Henry as the player under pressure in his game breakdown. His comments:
Do it again. With Murray out again with a bum knee, Henry will be asked to carry the load for the third consecutive game. His opponent will be a friendly one. While New England has improved markedly in the secondary since the season opener, its run defense has lagged behind. New England’s young front seven, starring household names Adam Butler, Eric Lee and Deatrich Wise, surrenders 4.7 yards per carry, second-worst in the NFL. According to Pro Football Focus, Henry has had far more success running to his left, where Lee and Wise are situated, than his right this season (5.5 vs. 3.1 YPC). I need not remind Patriots sympathizers that opponent success on the ground has been a common thread in each of New England’s three home playoff losses under Belichick. (Remember Ray Rice and Shonn Greene?) Tennessee’s chances in this game depend on its ability to hold the ball, extend drives and set up play-action passes, Marcus Mariota’s specialty. That’s Henry’s domain, and his alone.
There’s your edge. The only place the Titans have a plus match-up here is when their offensive line is facing the Patriots front 7. They need to take advantage of it in this one.