Get ready for every Titans’ fans favorite fall tradition, Derrick Henry running wild over the Jaguars defense. Despite an underwhelming performance for Henry in Tennessee’s first game against Jacksonville, the fourth year running back seems poised for a big day in week 12.
Henry carried the ball 17 times for just 44 yards in the Titans’ Thursday Night loss to the Jaguars in week three. But a lot has changed for both teams in the nine weeks since they last played.
Most notably, the Titans are starting a new player at quarterback. Since Ryan Tannehill became the full-time starter for Tennessee, the offense as a whole has improved from one of the worst units in the league into one that is able to compete. Titans wide receivers have seen their targets go up in Tannehill’s four starts, but none of them have seen improvement like Derrick Henry has in that time.
After having two games in his first six averaging over four yards per carry, Henry has now cleared that mark four weeks in a row, and is coming off a season-best game against the Chiefs where he ran 23 times for 188 yards. Tannehill coming into the Titans game plan has opened up the passing game, forcing defenses to shift their focus away from Henry and giving the running back more space to work.
While the Titans offense has improved, the Jaguars run defense looks like they’ve taken a step back. Jacksonville is coming off a game against the Colts where they allowed two running backs to rush for over 100 yards. If last weeks performance and Henry’s typical success against the Jags is to be trusted, Tennessee’s running game could be in for a big day.
The Jaguars offense has switched to quarterback Nick Foles as their started who had his first game back from injury last week against the Colts. Foles looked rusty in his return, and if he plays like he did last week, it could be a long day for Jacksonville. Regardless of how Foles looks, I am willing to bet on Derrick Henry having a dominant enough game for the Titans to win comfortably.
Titans over Jaguars, 31-20.