Why is this so important?
While I don’t believe in Arthur Smith and/or Mike Vrabel to make the right decision at RB yet, last week was very encouraging for those of us who understood that Derrick Henry was much more effective than Dion Lewis in nearly every facet of the game.
In case you didn’t know or forgot, this is exactly why giving the ball to Derrick Henry AND an improved offensive line is so important.
Henry absolutely thrives in the cold months and even when teams know that he is about to get the ball, it doesn’t matter because they can’t stop it.
Add in the benefit of being able to run the ball behind left guard and behind right tackle (now that Jack Conklin is healthy and playing at a high level compared to last year) and you have an extremely potent offense for the cold Tennessee winters.
With crucial games ahead and with the run game promising to be more of a factor going forward, the stress on Rodger Saffold the pass protector goes down while the attention he is going to get as a bulldozer goes up.
By the end of the season we may look back at the last half of the season (starting with the Panthers game) and realize that for all the lumps he took early in the season he figured out how to be a big help to the offense when it mattered most.