Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry is being projected to have “quite the year” in 2019.
Pro Football Focus did a list of nine running backs who they project to rush for over 900 yards this season, and Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry was on the list.
Henry, who totaled more than half of that (585 yards) yard count in his last four games of 2018, is primed to have a big year if he can get the consistent carries he lacked at the start of last season.
And Pro Footbal Focus’ Austin Gayle agrees, saying he thinks Henry is in for “quite the year.”
"Henry’s late-season surge should throw him into the driver’s seat of the Titans’ rushing attack, which, with maintained efficiency from last year, should lead to quite the year for the former ‘Bama standout. He finished the year ranked third in rushing grade (87.9) among the 51 NFL backs with 100-plus attempts in 2019. He also finished sixth in forced missed tackles per attempt (0.21) and second in yards after contact per attempt (4.2) among the same group of backs. He is currently projected to rush for 1,006.4 yards and 8.1 touchdowns in 2019."
Henry had to share carries with fellow back Dion Lewis for much of last year, and as a result he got off to a slow start. Despite that, Henry finished as the highest-graded back in the second half of 2018, per PFF.
That timeshare is expected to change in 2019, as it’s abundantly clear what he brings to the table when given more opportunities.
The Alabama product isn’t just some bruiser, he’s also a big-play threat every time he touches the ball. Henry has three touchdown runs of 72 yards or more in the last two seasons. One of those was a Week 14 bulldozing of the Jacksonville Jaguars that resulted in a 99-yard score.
Henry is in a run-first offense, with an improved offensive line and a better passing attack than the Titans have seen in years. The 25-year-old should benefit from all of those things, and hopefully quarterback Marcus Mariota can bounce back and help alleviate stacked boxes.
Even said stacked boxes haven’t stopped Henry, though. The big back owned the 10th-highest grade in that regard during his third year in the NFL, per PFF.
Henry was propelled to his first 1,000-yard campaign thanks to his season-ending surge. Now that he figures to get more consistent usage, there’s no reason to think he can’t go beyond PFF’s projection and have a shot to lead the league in rushing yards and touchdowns.