Titans sticking with the run, Derrick Henry better than you might think

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Prevailing wisdom says the Titans don’t run Derrick Henry enough.

For an offense that struggles so much, so often, there seems to be an easy formula: Give it to the best player as frequently as possible.

It’s not quite that simple of course.HenryCelebrateChiefs19

There are downs that simply don’t allow for it, and the Titans wind up in a great deal of those, particularly in the first half.

And the Titans simply do not run enough plays, something Mike Vrabel’s been talking about more and more frequently and is likely a theme of the coaching staff’s bye week work.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Things change fast in the NFL.

A week ago we were fairly wondering about offensive leadership.BrownLewan

Against the Chiefs, we saw some in action. Derrick Henry continued to come to the forefront, his production forging his leadership.

Ryan Tannehill produced a third fourth-quarter comeback. A couple runs where he rammed into defenders, unafraid of consequences surely scored him points with his teammates and gained him a bigger platform.

Those are the two guys who should be at the top of the list for offensive leadership.

Many spotted a small moment suggesting a rookie receiver’s got some of the moxie for which I’ve been pleading.

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Scout's Take: Against Chiefs, Derrick Henry showed patience, then burst

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special contributor

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans were playing short-handed on defense against one of the most prolific scoring teams in the NFL. Being without DT Jurrell Casey, LB Jayon Brown and CB Malcolm Butler was huge going against a passing offense like the Chiefs’.TannehillYellChiefs

The Titans have benefited from some of the more unique plays and calls throughout the season and this game just added to that list.

  • Rarely does a snapper snap a ball when the holder is not ready on a field goal try (vs. Chiefs).
  • Rarely does an entire kicking unit not move on the snap of the ball (vs Chiefs).
  • Rarely does a tackle, fumble and TD get brought back because of a blown whistle (vs Buccaneers).
  • Rarely do two consecutive game-ending touchdown runs get reversed and taken off the board (vs. Chargers).
  • Rarely does every active offensive lineman (seven) play against you during a game (vs. Browns, vs. Jaguars, vs. Chargers. (Since that one happened three times this season maybe it isn’t so rare!)

But it doesn’t matter how it happens, it is just good to have it happen for your benefit.

The Titans have been very good at ignoring the circumstances around them and focusing on the next play.

The ending of the Chargers game was a great example of that, but the Chiefs game showed the ability to keep competing whether it was the go-ahead score or the blocked field goal to end the game.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In a signature win that could come to mean something big for the Titans, Ryan Tannehill didn’t have flashy numbers.

But the quarterback made the throws the Titans needed and he showed off his athleticism with four notable runs that kept things going and brought the Titans energy that has too often been missing.TannehillRunChiefs

That energy was a theme during the week for Mike Vrabel.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In so many weeks the Titans have just needed a play to get them going, or at least to see if it’d get them going. And they’d go such long stretches without finding one.

Sunday in a great 35-32 win over the Chiefs at Nissan Stadium that came down to the last play, they found a bunch of them and fed off of them. They all keyed a signature win that got them to 5-5.HumphriesCelebrateChiefs19

It’s a game they now must model after their bye week if they are going to get on a roll and make themselves a playoff factor, an idea you made fun of me for mentioning this week but one that remains real, at least for now.

“Everyone is pumped, it’s fun to win a game like that,” Ryan Tannehill said. “Battle back in the fourth quarter at home and find a way to win, it’s a ton of fun. The excitement, it’s why we love playing the game: Competing, finding ways to win, that bond you create in moments like that.”

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Bad idea mailbag: Marcus Mariota as a WR, Cam Newton as the next QB

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Greetings as we await Sunday of Week 10. 

I hope we get a tremendous LSU-Alabama game on Saturday while we await Sunday football. If we get the result I want, Joe Burrow's stock will rise out of range for where the Titans will end up drafting, if he isn't there already,

On to your fine questions.


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Scout's Take: Chiefs will give Derrick Henry room to run and he keys Titans' upset chance

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- This is a must-win game for the Titans.

The Chiefs will mostly get their elite QB Patrick Mahomes back from his dislocated knee cap.SharpeCatchBucs

There is no chance Mahomes will be at full speed and the Titans defense should use that against him.

Mahomes had an ankle injury right before he injured his knee and he was struggling with inside pressure when he had to stay in the pocket.

He is the type of QB that will hold the ball too long at times and wants to move in the pocket.

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Pondering the Titans' offensive leadership, and Derrick Henry's role in it now

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans up-and-down tendencies, with more down than up, and another uninspired flop in Carolina leads us to further examination of the offensive woes.

Leadership is a real question on that side of the ball.

I concede there is certainly some that goes on that we don’t really see. Ben Jones is clearly regarded as a key leader by the offensive line and the team, which extended his contract before the season. But he doesn’t lead in a team spokesman kind of way and is generally disinterested in any public-facing element of leadership.JonesCelebrateEagles

Particularly with Delanie Walker missing time and minimized by injury this season, on offense these Titans don’t have a Kevin Byard, a Logan Ryan, a Wesley Woodyard or a Jurrell Casey – productive players with the gravitas to speak up at any time to anyone.

It’d be absolutely foolish for anyone on the Titans’ defense, or the Titans at all, not to snap to attention and respond to a message delivered by any one of those guys.

It’s fair to wonder how many they are delivering, and if they are common enough. My feeling is locker room cohesion is being valued above all else, and the Titans think everyone getting along and respecting each other is more important than any of the team’s large number of underachievers getting called out on it. Friendship has replaced leadership. Unity will solve it all.

Except it’s not doing so.

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