FOXBOROUGH — By the time this post sees the light of day, running back Derrick Henry’s 26th birthday will have passed. The effort he gave in the Tennessee Titans’ 20-13 victory on the road against the New England Patriots, though, will not soon be forgotten.
Winter Storm Henry rolled through Foxborough and now sets it’s sights on the Baltimore Ravens.
“That’s the way we like it,” Henry said. “We don’t want anything easy. We want it gritty, we want it dirty. That’s the mentality we’ve got to have. My main focus is finishing each and every drive in all three phases.”
Dirt and grit were the recipe required and Henry delivered in exactly that fashion.
Tennessee boasted a 6-0 record when the All-Pro back reached 100 yards on the ground. Instead of waiting around for a full game, Henry eclipsed the century mark with 106 yards on fourteen carries and a score in the first half alone. He added 20 more attempts and another 76 yard on the ground in the second half when the Titans could find no semblance of a passing game.
Low scoring and gritty have been synonymous with Tennessee but this time they ended a dynasty.
“He’s been big for us all year and he was was big for us tonight,” quarterback Ryan Tannehill said. “He made a couple big runs but just the consistency that he has down-in, down-out, the physicality he brings. He’s so hard to tackle — the offensive line did a good job of creating creases for him. There at the end, they were loading up the box and he’s still able to get positive yards.”
Per Josh Dubow of the AP, only LaDainian Tomlinson and Ray Rice had more yards from scrimmage in a playoff game against Bill Belichick’s Patriots than Henry’s 154 yards through three quarters on Saturday night. But the Storm was not satisfied and plowed through 15 more minutes of football to finish with 204.
New England, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick won six Super Bowls together in their time but could not defend their latest title this postseason. But, while one reign ends, another one begins.
Baltimore must brace themselves for Winter Storm Henry.
Featured Image: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports.