Tennessee Titans September report card: Offense
By Ravi Konjeti
Along with Tannehill, running back Derrick Henry signed a big contract extension to stay in Tennessee for the foreseeable future. Henry was monstrous late last season when he arguably put the best three-game stretch for a running back in history.
While Henry has put up impressive total stats with 319 yards in three games, putting him fourth in the NFL even with one less game, he is struggling on a per-carry basis. He is only averaging 3.9 yards a carry and has needed 82 attempts to get those 319 yards. That is the second-most attempts in the NFL and the 35th highest yards per attempt.
If the season were to end, this would be his least efficient season yet. The concerning part of Henry’s game has been his inability to wear on defenses late in-game. Henry’s best ability has been his high motor late in games to run past tired defensive lineman and truck over worn-out linebackers and defensive backs. However, we just have not seen him do that yet.
For a team that predicates their entire offensive game plan around Henry, his slow start is a cause for concern. Henry is also taking more reps with rookie running back Darrynton Evans missing the first two games of the year. Evans, who was expected to aid in 3rd down situations, has only been in one game and seen eight snaps thus far.
Henry will need to pick up the pace and show a little more dominance on the field. While offensive line struggles have slowed his production, Henry has shown an ability to overpower defenses. The next few games should be intriguing against solid defenses in the Bills and Steelers. That will give the team good insight on how their teams fair against top-notch competition.
Running Back Grade: B-