Running back O/U: Derrick Henry, 1,152 total yards
Derrick Henry is going to have a great year and he will get more carries than he has had in his entire career. However, this offense is going to be a true RB1A/RB1B scheme this year and I don’t think people really get that.
I think you can give Henry the ball 15 times a game as a zone runner where he can really make some plays. Thinking he could end up averaging 75 yards per game most games isn’t crazy.
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His big problem is going to be that some teams are going to be dead set on taking away the zone run and they are going to force Marcus Mariota to pass the ball on them. They won’t want to get beaten to death with the zone run where Henry has time to build up steam and punish defenders.
There are a few counters to that. You can run some presnap motion and give it to the motion man or you can use that motion to pull defenders away from the run. What I think the Titans are most likely to do is use the screen game and hard play actions to put the linebackers in bad positions.
Pop passes over the middle of the field and screens towards overloaded sides of the field can be huge plays for this team if defenses decide they can’t let the run beat them. I think Henry will have enough of those games early to where at the end of the season he isn’t quite the statistical monster that he could be if teams weren’t dedicated to that.
On top of that, I don’t think that Henry will get more than a few passes next season. I know that he has ripped off some long ones before, but that really isn’t his game. Why force it when you can put Dion Lewis in who can run and catch?
So these are the top-3 RBs who had less than 1,150 yards rushing last year: LeSean McCoy, Mark Ingram and Jordan Howard.
If rushing is where Henry’s yards come from, would yall really be disappointed if he had seasons like those guys?