Jim Wyatt, Senior Writer/EditorTitansOnline.com
Running back Derrick Henry was a force on Sunday. He ran for a career-high 92 yards on 14 carries, including the 17-yard run in the third quarter to give the Titans a 16-3 lead.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Derrick Henry’s eyes lit up as he hit the hole, and headed toward the end zone.In the end, the only man between the bruising Titans running back and six points was Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
So Henry ran through the would-be tackler, with authority, and scored.
“I definitely wanted to make him feel me,” Henry said with a smile. “I’m glad I got in.”
Nothing personal, Henry said. But the 17-yard touchdown run helped pave the way for Tennessee’s 37-16 win over the Jaguars.
The two just “gave each other a look” after the collision, Henry said.“He’s a great player, man, one of the top defensive players in the league I think,” Henry said of Ramsey. “It was just a good play-call and executed well.
“As a running back you always want to be physical.”
Henry was a force on Sunday. He ran for a career-high 92 yards on 14 carries, including the TD run in the third quarter to give the Titans a 16-3 lead. The rout was on from there, and Henry battered his way for more tough yards down the stretch as DeMarco Murray watched from the sideline with a tight hamstring.
“He came in and had a really big run,” coach Mike Mularkey said of Henry. “We actually didn’t put the play in until Saturday night. … Those guys blocked it up front like we wanted. Great run. DeMarco has a tight hamstring, a little bit of a hamstring deal he is dealing with. He came in and did what he is supposed to do – he ran the ball well.”
“He is a good player, and he got a number of opportunities and took advantage of it.”
After two games, Henry leads the team in rushing yards with 117. Murray was held to just 25 yards on nine carries on Sunday, and he has 69 yards through two games.
“He is a great player,” Titans guard Josh Kline said of Henry. “We have great running backs. They run hard and just make us look good sometime.”Added tight end Delanie Walker: “Derrick is a beast. Give him an opportunity and he is going to take advantage of it, and that’s what he did.”
Titans tackle Jack Conklinsaid the team’s mindset was to hammer away in the second half, when the Titans scored 31 of their 37 points.
Henry, who ran for 490 yards and five touchdowns as a rookie last season, was effective on several drives down the stretch.
“We expect that out of Derrick,” Conklin said. “We know there is no letdown when he comes in behind DeMarco. He is a big man and he played hard and he had a hell of a game for us.”
After the game, Henry credited those around him.
“It is a credit to the offensive line, tight ends and fullback, opening holes up for me,’’ Henry said. “Credit to those guys. Without them I wouldn’t have had the opportunities I had today.”
“You just have to hit the hole, be physical, get downhill and read the blocks. They did a good job blocking those guys.”
Making Sunday’s win – and performance – even more special: Henry starred in high school at Yulee High, located in between Jacksonville and Amelia Island. It’s where the record-setting running back earned the nickname “Yulee Express.”
Henry had family and friends in the stadium on Sunday.
“I’m sure it wasn’t special for the Jaguars fans,” Henry said. “But it is always good to come back home and play. I’m just glad I could help the team.”