Derrick Henry was perhaps the most feared running back in the NFL last season. He led the league in rushing yards (1,540) and rushing touchdowns (16) and almost single-handedly carried the Tennessee Titans to the Super Bowl.
Pro Football Focus analyst Sam Monson does not expect a repeat performance of that in 2020.
“They basically brought everybody back from a year ago and the plan is to just run it back again. That worries me,” Monson told Shaun Morash and Andrew Bogusch, who were filling in as hosts of The DA Show. “I don’t think that what they were doing last season was sustainable. So this idea that Ryan Tannehill is going to play as well as he did last year, that Derrick Henry is going to play as well as he did last year, I think would be pretty concerning. I think Derrick Henry’s production is a lot less bulletproof than people are giving it credit for.”
Henry rushed 64 times for 377 yards (5.9 yards per carry) in playoff wins at New England and at Baltimore. In the AFC Championship against Kansas City, however, he was limited to 19 carries for 66 yards (3.6 yards per carry) and a touchdown. The Chiefs won 35-24.
“He was the No. 11 rusher in the NFL when Marcus Mariota was the starting quarterback – [and then] they made the switch to Ryan Tannehill and everything changed,” Monson said. “Since that point, they also let one of the best run-blocking tackles in the NFL in Jack Conklin hit the open market in free agency, so I could see Derrick Henry having a notably worse season this year than he had last year. I don’t know that you’re going to be looking at him as this phenomenal rushing champion kind of player."