The Tennessee Titans head to Jacksonville a 2 point favorite in another critical early AFC South showdown.
Once again with Calais Campbell, Jalen Ramsey, Myles Jack and company the Jaguars have won of the best defenses in the league. They’ve had that defense for years, but the Titans have found a way to top it beating the Jags 4 times in a row.
How have they done it? They have run the football.
In all four games they have played solid defense and kept the ball away from the Jaguars secondary by instead ramming it down their throat.
The Titans have averaged 177 yards rushing a game in their last four wins over the Jags.
What has been the key? Well, it starts with being physical and ends with sticking with it.
“Ask the man upstairs,” said Derrick Henry, “I mean I just go out there and play my game. Can’t get caught into all the other stuff. If I play my game then all that other stuff will take care of itself.”
There is also the home run aspect. The Titans if they keep banging away with Henry he has home run speed and ability. Titans tackle Jack Conklin says that is added motivation “Guys are able to get in there and run the game plan effectively. That’s what really it’s come down to. Obviously we’ve got Derrick back there, he can do a lot with the ball. If we can hang in there for a little bit he can make a lot out of it.”
Henry put that on full display last December with his highlight reel 99 yard touchdown run. It has been played to death on national programming for 10 months and the Titans know the Jags have to be sick of seeing it.
Henry said, “They probably have it, they probably show it every day man!!! Because that’s all people talk about, so I’m sure they’re going to be locked in and ready to go.”
How the Titans use that to their advantage remains to be seen. Marcus Mariota has played some of his best football operating out of play action. That is when he fakes a handoff to hold in the linebackers and safeties and open up the field for the receivers. With the Jags completely focused on stopping Henry Corey Davis said opportunities should be there, “Definitely should, definitely should. The run game should compliment the pass.”
Can the Titans win in Jacksonville? Absolutely. If they top 150 yards rushing it is almost a certainty. Again.