Alabama in the Pros

Derrick Henry to vanquish Colts for final spot in AFC playoffs

Christopher Hanewinckel - USA TODAY Sports

Derrick Henry is used to ruining things for others. 

He snatched a Heisman chance from Leonard Fournette, embarrassed a Michigan State defender in the 2015 Cotton Bowl (semifinal) and sent Deshaun Watson home in disappointment, after Alabama’s first meeting with Clemson in the College Football Playoff title game. 

As a third-year running back for the Tennessee Titans, Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts stand in his way of a second straight trip to the playoffs in the National Football League. 

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

Both teams are 9-6, however, the Colts have the final spot in the AFC playoff picture while the Titans stand outside. The two franchises square off Sunday at Nissan Stadium in critical play-in game.

Since parting ways with DeMarcco Murray, Henry has seen increase in his production this season.

He not only leads the team in rushing, but his 966 yards rank tenth in the league and his 12 touchdowns are tied for second.

The 6-foot-3, 247-pounder recorded his first 1,000-yard season from scrimmage in his career, as he totals 1,052 yards through 15 games. December has been a great month for the 2015 Heisman winner, seeing how 532 of his yards and eight of his scores have come in this period. Henry’s posted a pair of 100-yard outings – including a 200-yard game (238) versus Jacksonville on Dec. 6 in a 30-9 win for the Titans. 

With the Colts continuing to surge, it would behoove Mike Vrabel of the Titans to feed Henry early and often to keep Luck on the sideline. Even with Marcus Mariota being able to practice this week, the team’s success starts when opportunities are created for Henry.  

He is having a big year and wants it to continue with a run in the playoffs.

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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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