Zach Lyons is a NFL Senior Contributor for Broadway Sports. He is also Co-Host of the wildly popular, award winning, and world renowned podcast, “A Football & Other F Words”, new episodes released every Wednesday wherever you get your podcasts.. He’s also a co-host for Nashville’s first ever football only show with a global reach, “A Football Show”. “A Football Show” airs LIVE every Monday and Thursday at 1p CST. Subscribe and turn on notifications here.
Coming off a disappointing loss to the Bengals, there were a lot of emotions. Lot of, and rightfully so, complaining about certain weapons not being used, personnel groupings, play calling, etc etc. It’s the usual complaints you hear when the Titans get bullied in a game where they probably should’ve run.
You’ve heard the same all week: Titans haven’t beaten anyone good, Todd Downing stinks, the OL is the worst its ever been. There’s one thing that’s not being talked about enough, in my opinion, and it’s the lackluster play of Derrick Henry.
Now don’t get me wrong, even though you will, like Titans Fans are wont to do, this isn’t a take blame off Downing and say it’s all Henry’s fault. At this point, we can rightfully complain about Downing every freaking week, but there are other issues plaguing this offense that need to be talked about.
This has not been Henry’s best year from an on the field, on the data sheet, eye test, whatever you want to say or use to justify a player’s performance, he just isn’t. There’s a lot of reasons as to why.
- He’s coming off a pretty big injury
- He’s getting up there in age (for a RB)
- Lots of wear and tear
- The OL stinks
- The play calling is predictable
Tons of reasons. All of the reasons come into play at different points in a game, and all of the reasons are why the Titans have one of the most inefficient rushing attacks in the NFL. Sure, if you’re looking at pure volume stats of total rushing yards by one running back, it looks pretty good, but that’s not how to judge a running back or running game.
The flip side to this is that the passing game is working despite these season narratives:
- Terrible Pass Catchers (not so true)
- Terrible Offensive Line (true)
- Terrible OC (very true)
- Tannehill isn’t good when Henry is stopped (not true for 2022)
- Run Heavy Philosophy (true)
To me it just doesn’t feel like DHenber. Sure it’s cold outside, there’s some juicy match ups, Christmas lights are going up, and we have the superb montage video provided by TitansFilmRoom who finally lived up to his name this season.
Everything in my mind is telling me DHenber is coming, but my heart, and my spirit just aren’t feeling it. Like seasons past. It’s just because I don’t think the OL is good, Henry is not the Henry of old, and the play calling is predictable.
These are the reasons I don’t think he can just do it all by himself and carry this team on his shoulders anymore. However, everything is aligned for the emergence of a new holiday. A holiday with the future in mind, and a holiday that can help keep DHenber fresh and going.
I know by writing the following article, and giving stats, data, analysis, that this will probably come back to haunt me. So here’s a disclaimer: I am not saying Derrick Henry’s career is done. I am not saying he still isn’t one of the best backs in the league. I am not saying he can’t go off. I am saying that it’s time to help Henry, and not burden him.
Braden and I dove into this on the latest episode of A Football Show. That to help make Henry more effective and efficient, the offense needs to shift over these next few weeks and let someone else take the wheel this last month.
How DecemBurks saves DHenber
mike kamysz (mike_kamysz): If you had your choice who would be the OC?
Well, if I had my choice of any coach currently active it would be Kyle Shannahan or Sean McVay. Anyone on the current staff it would be Tim Kelly over Todd Downing…really anyone on the offensive staff over Downing. If it was from current college coaches or other NFL staffers that aren’t OCs, I think I would go Ryan Day.
Allen Matthews (@Allen_m): Which NFL team that was predicted to be good this year has surprised you the most with how bad they are?
Hmm this is tough. Probably Las Vegas or Green Bay. I am not surprised at Colts or Broncos for various reasons I have said all offseason about those teams. I expected the Raiders to be competing with Chiefs, and they’ve struggled in various games for various reasons, and their defense is nowhere near playing where they were last year in terms of pressures. Green Bay I always thought no matter what would contend just because of how crappy the NFC North is and how great Aaron Rodgers is, but that team stinks!
Goody (@real_goody): How bad will the run blocking down field be without their WR 1 blocker Cody Hollister?
You won’t even notice a freaking difference.
Eddie (@TitansPadsSnkrs): Who gets more yards this weekend? AJ? Treylon?
It’s DecemBurks! I think Treylon gets more yards than Brown, and in fact I think Fulton gets in Browns head all game.
JT (@jt_ruhnke): Choose 1 to be locked in a room with: Kanye, Jared Stillman, or 3 Chimpanzees?
Not sure why being locked in a room with 3 Chimpanzees would be bad? I am an animal whisperer and we would be best buds immediately. So easy answer, 3 chimps.
See y’all next week.