Alabama in the Pros

Derrick Henry and Julio Jones lift Titans to bounce back win over Seahawks

Derrick Henry celebrates big win for Titans in 2020
Christopher Hanewinckel - USA Today Sports

Media pundits criticized the Tennessee Titans after its season-opening loss to the Arizona Cardinals, and Julio Jones dealt with criticism from Titans’ head coach, Mike Vrabel.

Derrick Henry and Jones learned how to battle adversity at the University of Alabama. Henry was told his style would not translate to success in the National Football League. Jones endured a hand injury at Alabama, yet he was selected at No. 6 overall in the 2011 NFL Draft. National reporters could not believe it when the two decided to join forces during the offseason.

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People looked at the Titans as a potential Super Bowl contender, and Sunday’s game versus the Seattle Seahawks showed why.

He is impossible to tackle when Tennessee is ahead in games; however, Henry’s performances to push the Titans to comeback victories are special. Seattle had a 24-9 lead at halftime, but Henry took over in the second half.

The 6-foot-3, 247-pounder rushed for three touchdowns, including two in the fourth quarter.

He broke loose for a 60-yard score, pulling the Titans within seven points (30-23) of the Seahawks. Henry’s second touchdown, a 1-yard run, tied the game at 30 before forcing overtime.

He totaled 35 carries for 182 yards with three touchdowns.

The 2015 Heisman Trophy winner is also proving to pundits his versatility at receiver.

Henry caught six passes from Ryan Tannehill for 55 yards in a 33-30 victory. He is a three-time 1,000-yard rusher, two-time NFL rushing champion, one of eight running backs in league history to record 2,000 rushing yards, and he has become the best player at his position in the NFL.

As for Jones, he caught six passes for 128 yards on eight targets. He caught a touchdown pass from Tannehill in the back of the end zone, but the officials ruled it an incomplete pass.

Jones posted his first 100-yard game as a member of the Titans.

After the game, Henry went to the cameras and said “we came, we saw, and we conquered.”

He and Jones got Tennessee in the win column.

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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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