Biggest takeaways from Tennessee Titans win over Minnesota Vikings
By Brady Akins
This Offense Needs Derrick Henry
With the obvious exception of Stephen Gostkowski, the MVP of the Titans 3-0 start has been quarterback Ryan Tannehill. While Derrick Henry has struggled to get anything going in the running game, Tannehill has been able to make up the difference with two stellar performances in the first two weeks.
But Tannehill, for as good as he’s been in Tennessee, can’t do it all on his own. And Week 3 showed exactly just how valuable a heavy dose of Derrick Henry can be for the Titans offense.
Midway through the third quarter, with the Titans facing a 12 point deficit without much coming from the offense, Tennessee changed their game script— giving Henry the ball on five of the team’s eight plays on what turned into their first touchdown drive of the game.
Before that, the Titans who typically are never shy with getting Henry the ball seemed hesitant to lean on their running back with the team facing a deficit through much of the game. Once Henry got involved in the game plan once it, the offense started to finally find the endzone.
An even better example of Henry’s value came on the Titans’ very next possession. On first down, with everyone on the Minnesota sideline expecting the ball to go to Henry once again, Tennessee pulled out the play-action, hitting Kalif Raymond for a 61-yard deep shot that set up another touchdown two plays later.
Even when it’s not working at its peak efficiency, this is a Titans offense that thrives when it gives a heavy focus to the running game. The big difference was in Week 3, Henry had the stats to prove his impact on the game.