Can Derrick Henry run the Tennessee Titans to the Super Bowl

Tennessee Titans (Mandatory Credit: The Tennessean)
Tennessee Titans (Mandatory Credit: The Tennessean) /
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Derrick Henry’s impact on the Tennessee Titans

Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry is one of the few players in the league who was voted as the best player at his position in Jeremy Fowler’s poll of NFL executives/coaches and who was rated as the best player at his position in Madden 23.

Being named the top running back in the NFL after missing the majority of last season shows some well-earned respect that Henry has built up within the league. An unspecified coach was quoted in ESPN’s article, saying “You can give him the ball 30 times and he won’t disappoint.”

In fact, everyone in the NFL knows this and other teams are definitely preparing for it.

We know what the identity of the Tennessee Titans is this year. The roster, the coaching staff, and the contracts have all been completely aligned to this one guiding principle going into the 2022 season…Derrick Henry.

Being the focal point of the franchise is something Henry has earned, I do not think anyone would argue this, but it does come with expectations.

It’s boom-or-bust for Henry this year, and much of the Titans’ hopes rest on the shoulders of their beloved running back.

Tennessee Titans
Tennessee Titans (Mandatory Credit: The Tennessean) /

Kings stay Kings

After last year, with Henry missing the bulk of the season and the extremely short attention span of the league media, some doubters have sprung up questioning who the “King” of the league really is.

Ryan Clark got on First Take in response to announce that Jonathan Taylor is “more explosive and more of a big play threat” than Derrick Henry in response to Henry having a higher Madden rating.

Henry will have to prove everyone right (or wrong, if you are in the Ryan Clark camp), or else he risks losing the title of “King” and the team risks pushing all of its chips in on the 28-year-old running back with a herculean workload, and most importantly the Titans will be forced to consider turning the page on this championship window.

With playoff flops the last couple of years, the shimmering optimism of fans after the 2019 season is starting to fade. A cloud of doubt and gloom will cast a shadow over Nissan Stadium all year in the form of the memories of a nasty and still-fresh playoff loss.

So the question is: Can Derrick Henry carry his team to a Super Bowl and restore the sunshine to Tennessee Titans fans everywhere?