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Story By: Brady Trapnell
Titans Writer/Reporter

A win is a win.

During this 2017 season, that has been the mantra for the Tennessee Titans (7-4).

This time running back Derrick Henry carried his team to the first season sweep of the Indianapolis Colts (3-8) since 2002, tallying 52 of 77 yards on the Titans game-winning touchdown drive in the 20-16 victory.

Here’s what we learned.

Derrick Henry needs to get the majority of carries

The debate between dividing carries between Derrick Henry and DeMarco Murray should be over.

At the beginning of this season, it was not clear. Murray has produced a few solid games including a three touchdown game, but his vision has been poor, agility mediocre and production minimal.

With his dominant fourth quarter performance against the Colts, Derrick Henry has earned his way to getting over half of the carries.

The Titans offense completely absent (per usual over the past few weeks) and trailing by 16-13, the second-year player from Alabama single-handedly drove his team down the field for a touchdown.

He barreled his way to 42 yards rushing on the 77-yard drive plus 10 receiving yards.

https://twitter.com/AtoZSports/status/934892650444021762

Oh yeah, and he finished the game with this nasty stiff arm.

He did it in the week six win over Indianapolis by setting a career rushing record.

He did it again Sunday afternoon bringing his team from being possibly two games out of the AFC South division race to firmly in competition with his performance.

Sacks galore 

Where in the world did eight sacks come from?

Titans defensive lineman Jurrell Casey predicted the Colts offensive line was going to have a rough day earlier this week, and they sure did.

The Titans tallied six points in the first half. They also crushed Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett with six sacks in the first half.

DC Dick LeBeau’s crew finished with eight sacks, setting a franchise record dating back to 1985.

And, it is another case of the Titans defense keeping the team in the game. In every win, it seems we are writing about a similar theme: Titans find a way to win. Each time it has been because of this defense making the key plays when needed.

The game was flipped on its head after a fumble by running back Marlon Mack, and the Titans held the Colts to three and outs on the following two drives to close out the game. The defense gave their team the break they desperately needed.

This defense is still underrated, and it is time for everyone to realize they are the real deal.

11 games in, still no identity 

The Titans sit after week 12 at 7-4, firmly in the playoff race and yet still with no identity.

After a blowout 40-17 loss to Pittsburgh Steelers last week, you would have thought the Titans would come out of the gates fired up to prove doubters wrong.

Then followed another multiple interception performance by Marcus Mariota, a first half which consisted of an absent rushing attack and an offensive line completely uninspired.

As mentioned, Derrick Henry and the defense rescued the Titans from a miserable loss. However, this team has yet to put together a complete performance all season long.

Covering the Titans in 2017 is like having consistent deja vu. It is the same story each week, “(Insert name) puts Titans on his back to squeak out a win.”

Yes, that is a characteristic of a playoff team. But, it also shows complete inconsistency within the coaching staff and among players.

In big games, this inconsistency has bitten Tennessee, i.e. Houston blowout and Steelers blowout.

Heading down the stretch, and against the Houston Texans next week at Nissan Stadium the Titans must find a way to play like they did in the fourth quarter in Indianapolis.

If not, it will be another painful game for Titans fans hoping for a win.

(Featured Photo: Donn Jones, titansonline.com)

 

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