NFL Week 14 Review. Does Derrick Henry deserve starter time?

SportsBlenderNFL Thu, 13 Dec 2018

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If there is one thing you remember this NFL season, it will be the slew of crazy finishes that happened in Week 14. From the thrilling Miami Miracle, to multiple overtime finishes in Dallas and Kansas City, Week 14 in the NFL was nothing short of a spectacle and it all began on Thursday night in Nashville.

            Titans RB Derrick Henry had a career night, rushing for 238 yards and 4 touchdowns while becoming the second running back in NFL history to have a 99-yard rushing touchdown. Only Henry and Hall of Fame RB Tony Dorsett have had a 99 yard rushing touchdown in the modern era. Henry scored all of his teams’ touchdowns in a commanding win for the Titans and an embarrassing loss for the Jaguars. But after this performance, does Henry deserve starter time?

            The short answer, no. Before that game, Derrick Henry had not rushed for more than 60 yards in game all season and averaged just 3.7 yards per carry (YPC). His YPC went up to 4.9 after that one game and Henry has had a whole career based on inflated statistics.

            20% of Henry’s yards in 2017 came off of two runs that happened late in the 4th quarter and 33.5% of his yards this season came in Week 14 against Jacksonville. His average yards per game before last week was 39.5 yards. His numbers are not very impressive, there are just a few plays every season that make people gush over him. Go back to the playoffs last season.

            The AFC Wildcard round at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. Henry had 156 yards and 1 TD on 23 carries and he also had 35 yards through the air. Not too bad right? It really would have helped in the next game against New England. Henry followed up his great performance against Kansas City with a sub-par performance against New England. He had 49 total yards on 15 touches with no touchdowns. Not great.

            This offseason, Titans RB DeMarco Murray retired and most believed Tennessee had their next guy in line standing 6’3 250 pounds. How fooled everyone was. The Titans went out and got former Patriots Dion Lewis because they did not have faith in Henry’s ability to be a feature back with every down capability. Henry follows in the footsteps of other big Alabama running backs that have, and will, seemingly amount to nothing.

            Kenneth Darby, Glen Coffee, Trent Richardson, Eddie Lacy, Bo Scarborough. All were unbelievable college running backs that have amounted to nothing in the NFL. There has been a history of great players coming from the pinnacle of college football who have amounted to nothing in the NFL; especially at the running back position, and Derrick Henry is just another name to add to that list.

By: Joe Zollo

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