Alabama in the Pros

Derrick Henry helps Titans hold off Redskins to remain alive for playoffs

Christopher Hanewinckel - USA TODAY Sports

The jury may be out on whether the Tennessee Titans have trust issues with depending on Derrick Henry; however, it has not stopped the third-year running back from giving the team productivity this season. 

His performance against Washington was neither career-setting nor a 100-yard showing, but it was enough to keep the Titans alive in the AFC playoff picture.

When the team lost Marcus Mariota to an injury, Henry took control late in the game. Head coach Mike Vrabel went to him more with Blaine Gabbert at quarterback and he recorded 84 yards rushing with one touchdown on 21 carries, while nearly adding a touchdown pass to his professional resume. 

Henry has scored at least one touchdown in four straight games — dating back to Dec. 2 where he reached the end zone against the Jets and the Titans won, 26-22.

To pair with him averaging four yards per carry, six of his runs went for either first downs or touchdowns, including a long run of 18 yards. 

RELATED: Derrick Henry keeps Titans in playoff race with clutch game versus Giants

He has yet to accomplish a 1,000-yard year; nevertheless, his output in Tennessee’s 25-16 win over Washington has him 34 yards shy of the mark.

Henry, the team’s leading rusher, now sits at 966 yards with 12 scores through 15 games and has the Titans at 9-6.  

Following the win, Henry and company will turn to cheering for the Los Angeles Chargers in its matchup with the Baltimore Ravens. A victory for the Chargers would temporarily lock Tennessee as the sixth and final seed in the AFC. For the former University of Alabama standout, a win next week against Indianapolis puts Henry in the NFL playoffs for a second straight year.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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