KANSAS CITY_Derrick Henry promised he would be a different back than the one he described this week as “soft” in last week’s win over Jacksonville.
Henry delivered in a big way Saturday, rushing for 156 yards and a touchdown, as the Tennessee Titans rallied from 18 points down for a 22-21 upset victory in the AFC Wild Card Playoffs. That effort more than tripled his output from the previous week against the Jaguars.
“I just wanted to go out and run hard,” Henry said. “Run north, south and forward. I had a lot of negative plays last week. I told you all that it didn’t leave my head. It was in my head when the game kicked off. So I just wanted to be better than I was last week.”
He certainly accomplished that, running largely to the left behind the blocking of guard Quinton Spain and tackle Taylor Lewan to pile up valuable yardage and keep drives alive.
Henry did most of his damage in the second half, getting 114 yards in the final two quarters.
“I think he was a man on a mission to get his chance and his opportunity and now he gets another one,” Titans coach Mike Mularkey said. “Again, I just think the more he is playing the more experience is good for him.”
And it was good for the Titans as well, as they stuck with their running game in the second half despite a three-score deficit.
“I don’t ask on whether or not we are going to stick with it,” Henry said. “I just try to go out there and execute the play that’s called. I feel like as long as you do that, everything else is going to take care of itself. If you want to run the ball, or whatever you want to do, I believe it works as long as we execute the play and beat the man in front of you.”