I have been waiting a long time to say this: football is back. The NFL had a full slate of games on Sunday, but it did not include the Tennessee Titans. However, I watched every game I could as an excited football fan, and boy were the games wild.
Let’s not get into all the details on how wild they were. Let’s just talk about one constant trend I couldn’t help but notice: Running backs were having field days. Could it have something to do with this being the first actual games played since the 2019 season ended? Possibly, but it’s a trend that should excite Titans fans.
For example: the Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliot had 127 scrimmage yards with two total touchdowns last night versus the Rams. In that same game, Rams running back Malcolm Brown had two touchdowns with 110 scrimmage yards.
— NFL (@NFL) September 14, 2020
Alvin Kamara’s numbers weren’t flattering, but he played really well. He had two total touchdowns versus the Buccaneers and 67 scrimmage yards. Raider’s Josh Jacobs had 139 scrimmage yards and three rushing touchdowns, while Christian McCaffery had 134 scrimmage yards and a couple of touchdowns.
— NFL (@NFL) September 13, 2020
I could continue on, because a handful of running backs made it look easy out there on Sunday. Let’s not forget about Chiefs rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire running for 138 yards and a score on Thursday. Most of those runnings backs are considered some of the best in the league, so it looks like defenses so far have had a hard time containing the top guys.
Well, guess who has a top guy? The Titans. The 2019 NFL rushing champion, Derrick Henry, will face the Denver Broncos’ defense tonight on Monday Night Football, and I would not be shocked if the trend continues.
Because this is the first real, live action in a long time for the NFL, defenses are sloppy. That plays really well into what Henry thrives from: tired, sloppy defenses late in games.
At first, I came into this game expecting someone unexpected to have a big night. Though I still believe that could be the case, Week 1’s trend is making it really difficult for me to not believe Henry will dominate tonight for the Titans.
Let’s not forget the Titans aren’t the only one with a good running back in this game. The Broncos have TWO: Phillip Lindsay and Melvin Gordon. They will likely utilize that committee to their full advantage versus Tennessee.
The Titans should work to keep Lindsay from seeing open field, because that’s where he will make you pay. For Gordon, the Titans faced him last season when he was on the Chargers, and he had just 32 rushing yards. It was Austin Ekeler who had the big day with 118 receiving yards out the backfield.
Lindsay will be used a lot like Ekeler was alongside Gordon, and the Titans will need to be ready for that. They are well coached, so we can trust that they will be. Let’s just hope the running back trend continues for the Tennessee Titans, not the Denver Broncos, tonight in their week one opener.