The inconsistency of this Titans team remains consistent. Games you expect them to wrap up are lost and games you expect them to have no shot in result in improbable victories against some of the league’s best teams.
Such is the case against the Chiefs, a team Tennessee has had a surprising amount of success against in recent games. The Titans have a four game winning streak against Kansas City dating back to 2014, including the Wild Card victory in 2017. Yesterday’s 35-32 victory kept the Titans’ AFC South hopes alive heading into the bye, yet to play the division leading Texans once.
This team makes no sense, but one player that has constantly dominated the Chiefs is none other than Derrick Henry. In his first career game against them, Henry had 9 carries for 58 yards and two touchdowns. Not that noteworthy outside of the two scores, but now consider that in three games Henry has 402 yards on 55 carries (7.3 yards per carry) and five touchdowns. That’s exactly 134 rushing yards per game for the fourth-year back.
I’d be lying if I said the Chiefs defense wasn’t awful against the run, and the team is allowing 148.1 yards per game on the ground, only second worst to the Bengals’ 173.0. But the total yesterday has given Henry 832 on the season and added to another great performance against the Chiefs.
Most notable was Henry’s first touchdown run; A somewhat nice 68-yard run up the middle in the third quarter to give the Titans a 20-19 lead.
Henry shows off good patience before cutting inside, then his ability to get yards after contact breaks a couple tackles before he turns on the jets and waltzes into the end zone. Henry had 48 yards on 9 carries in the first half (5.3 yards per carry), before rushing for 140 yards on the next 14 carries in the second half (10.0 yards per carry).
Going into the bye Henry is fourth in rushing yards in 2019, only trailing Dalvin Cook, Christian McCaffrey, and Nick Chubb. In a league where there seems to be great running back production everywhere who knows what the Titans will do with Henry after this season, but in a contract year I can say I’m enjoying what I’m seeing from him this year. He’s running much more efficiently than in previous seasons and has built off of a great December stretch in 2018.
And Henry’s efforts on Sunday have pushed the Titans on the 9-7 path they seem to be consistently attracted to.