Another win for the Tennessee Titans. All they need is to win one more match and they can win No. 1 overall in the AFC. With a record of 11-5, a low rating for a team in first place, but that speaks to the lack of a clear best team in the AFC, a home win against 4-12 Houston Texans – who have won two of their last three games – for to end the season, the Titans of home-field advantage and a first-round goodbye.
Injuries have been a problem for the Titans all season, but their roster has gotten stronger and they could be just as healthy as they have been all year. get playoff time. AJ Brown is back as Ryan Tannehill’s top catcher, Julio Jones is healthy and out of the COVID list is the entire offensive starting line healthy and the defense has returned from earlyseasonal injuries to be a top-10 unit per. Football Outsiders. It also looks like there is one more player The Titans will have back to the playoffs that could tip the balance of power in the AFC: Derrick Henry.
The best running back in the NFL has not played since the Titans’ Week 8 win over the Indianapolis Colts, where he limped off the field but returned to finish that game. After the game, it was discovered that Henry had a Jones fracture (a fracture on the small side of the foot) in his right foot that would require surgery. He was out indefinitely.
It is likely that Henry will be available for the Titans in the playoffs. The designated him to return from IR today, and if he looks good in practice, he could even play against Texas on Sunday. He has a 21-day window, from today, to practice to get back on track. It’s not technically a guarantee that he will return to the field this season, but judging from the Titans’ social media, they seem to be sure that Kby Henry is ready to play.
If Henry is feeling well, he would of course like to play on Sunday, but Titans coach Mike Vrabel would do well to keep him out until the off-season. Division rivals can be tough regardless of their record, but if the Titans want any playoff success, they need to be able to beat a 4-12 team at home with the top seed on the line. It could give Henry almost the entire 21-day period for more recovery and training time to be ready for a home game in the division.
Henry has received praise, accolades and a fine contract in recent years, but what he has not received is a lot of rest. When counting the playoffs, he had a total of nearly 400 carries in each of the last two seasons. Henry was well on his way to another 400-carry regular season in 2021 before getting injured. He had 219 games through eight games of a season of 17 games.
Instead, Henry was able to jump straight to the division round with only 219 carries in total and almost a full three months of rest. Woe to any defense on awbetween Sunday in Nashville must handle the 6-foot-3, 250 pounds of it.
Tannehill has shown he can be the quarterback to lead the Titans to Super Bowl battle, but he needs a full cavalry behind him, and certainly his cannon ball – Henrik. In the future, they need to rest Henry more, but not during this playoff round. He’s had enough rest this season. They must launch him into conflicting fronts 40 times per. fight in the playoffs behind the healthy offensive line.
With the return of Henry bowling through conflicting defense, some well-timed play-action for AJ Brown, and a strong expression from their own defense, the Titans may be the team that finally differs from the rest of the AFC.