The Titans defense and Derrick Henry continued their red hot December today with a 17-0 win over the Giants. New York had won four of their last five coming in to this one and had averaged 31.4 points per game over that stretch so this wasn’t the sure thing that the records might have suggested it to be, but the Titans made it look easy on the road. Here are the winners and losers from Titans 17, Giants 0.
Henry was the Titans offense in this one, rushing for 170 yards and 2 touchdowns on 33 carries a week after going for 238 yards. His 408 yards over the past two games broke Earl Campbell’s franchise record for most rushing yards in back-to-back games.
There really isn’t much left to say about Henry that wasn’t said last week. The guy is running like an absolute beast right now and it was good to see the Titans coaches lean on him in a game where the conditions favored the run game. Henry is just 118 yards away from his first 1,000 yard season and it would be a shocker if he didn’t get there at this point.
The Offensive Line
Ever since Quinton Spain got benched — temporarily — at halftime of the Jets game, the Titans offensive line has been mostly excellent. Over the last two games they’ve allowed just two sacks and have cleared the way for 479 yards on the ground. This is the Titans offensive line that we expected to see all season.
The Titans All-Pro safety stuffed the box score in this game with 5 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 QB hit, 1 sack, 2 passes defensed, and 1 interception. Byard is a monster in the Tennessee secondary and this was one of his best games.
Logan Ryan has had a borderline Pro Bowl type year and it continued on Sunday. He picked up his 4th sack on the season and turned in some excellent work in coverage as well. Hopefully the injury that forced him out of the game isn’t serious. The Titans will need him against the Redskins and Colts the next two weeks.
Rashaan Evans & Jayon Brown
The matchup of Saquon Barkley against the young Titans linebackers was a landslide in favor of the defenders in this one. Evans and Brown both were effective in limiting the Giants standout rookie to the worst performance of his career. He finished with just 31 yards on 14 carries on the ground and 25 yards on 4 receptions through the air.
The Titans defense pitched their first shutout since 2000 and Pees continues to be a master of disguise in the blitz game. Tennessee limited Eli Manning to under 48% completion percentage and just 5.2 yards per attempt. They also added 3 sacks, 2 turnovers, and an 18.8% 3rd down conversion rate. It was a thoroughly dominant performance from the defense and they’ve now allowed just one offensive touchdown over the past three games. The shutout moves the defense just one point behind the Ravens for the stingiest scoring defense in the NFL.
I don’t know that anyone truly belongs here after this game. It wasn’t a perfect performance by any means, but a 17-0 road win over a team that had been playing good football is a really solid performance all around.
The Titans passing game didn’t do a ton in this one, but it wasn’t asked to either. Ryan Succop missed a field goal attempt and I didn’t love Mike Vrabel’s decision to punt on 4th and 5 at the Giants 35 just before the half, but I think both of those can largely be explained by the weather.
The Titans will now return home for the remainder of the regular season with two must-win games on tap.