The Kansas City Chiefs aren’t alone when it comes to having a hard time stopping or even slowing Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry. As the reigning NFL Offensive Player of the Year, Henry has ran roughshod over opponents for the last few years like few running backs in NFL history. Still, the Chiefs are going to have to find a way to focus enough on Sunday to do what they can against Henry and hope for the best.
When the Titans host the Chiefs on Sunday, it’s going to be a battle of dangerous offenses, with Henry’s ability to move the chains at will on the ground giving the Titans a significant boost in the passing game as well given the team’s play-action capabilities.
In four previous meetings with the Chiefs, Henry has rushed 74 times for 471 yards and 6 touchdowns. That gives him a 6.3 yards/carry average in high-profile games, including two postseason showings. The Titans are 3-1 in that span of time as well, being one of the very few teams to have a winning record against Andy Reid during his tenure as the Chiefs head coach.
Derrick Henry has a history of rolling over the Chiefs.
If Henry equals his averages against the Chiefs on Sunday, he’ll come away with close to 120 yards rushing and 1-2 touchdowns on the ground. Yet even that production would be less than his average game so far in 2021, a year in which he’s averaging 130 yards/game through Week 6. Henry is generating so much production (783 yards) that he’s over 200 yards in front of his nearest competitor, Nick Chubb, for the rushing title.
The good news for the Chiefs is that they have a history of keeping Henry from going all-out if they scheme things correctly. In their last meeting, a postseason showdown after the 2019 season, Henry averaged 3.6 yards/carry and gained only 69 yards on 19 attempts and 1 touchdown. The Chiefs won by a 35-24 margin and ended Tennessee’s season.
Even with that as the most recent meeting, it won’t be easy to slow Henry. Everyone knows the offense runs through him, but Henry is still imposing his will on opposing teams anyway, and the Titans just defeated the Buffalo Bills a week ago, showing that Henry can help take out any team with his skill set. For the Chiefs, they’ll have to be tough up front and hope that Nick Bolton’s presence as a reliable tackler can be a significant aid when it counts.