Tennessee Titans: 3 keys to victory over Kansas City Chiefs
By Ravi Konjeti
Feed Derrick Henry the Ball
It goes without saying but the Titans need to get Derrick Henry the ball. In the past, it seemed that 20 carries for Henry would suffice for the Titans’ game plan. However, Henry has shown that he can do much more with more carries and touches.
Henry has hit 30-plus carries in the last two postseason games and tallied 377 rushing yards and three touchdowns (one passing, one rushing, and one receiving). Henry has been devastating defenses since Ryan Tannehill has taken over.
Henry is setting all sorts of records this season in arguably one of the most historic runs by a running back in NFL History.
Most impressively, entering last week’s game, Henry had 12 rushing touchdowns and 571 rushing yards when facing eight or more defenders in the box on the season. Last week alone, the Ravens stacked the box on 63 percent of Henry’s attempts, but he still rushed for 124 yards against said stacked boxes, according to NextGenStats.
The Chiefs house the 26th-ranked rushing defense this season while giving up 128.2 yards per game. The Chiefs let Henry run for 188 yards and two touchdowns last time these two teams played. There is no real reason to believe this time around will be any different.
The Titans have a few things going in their direction this matchup. The Chiefs starting DT Chris Jones is nursing an injury and missed last week’s matchup against the Texans. Jones is vital for the Chiefs’ ability to clog up the middle of the line. If he misses the game, then it will be much harder for them to stop Henry.
Secondly, this game is expected to be in frigid temperatures in the teens, according to NFLWeather.com. Henry is hard enough to tackle in perfect game conditions, but it will become exponentially harder for defenders to take on Henry in the cold. Henry’s second half carries have a chance to be real bruisers, particularly if he can find himself in the secondary.
If Henry can continue his dominance, then the Titans can dominate time of possession and win this game. The Titans are undefeated on the season when he breaks a 100 yards rushing. Let’s hope King Henry can take the Titans to the promised land.