The Tennessee Titans are not shying away from the run just because running back Derrick Henry is on injured reserve.
In the past two games without Henry, the Titans have generated 125 and 198 rushing yards with their three-headed attack of Jeremy McNichols, D’Onta Foreman, and the living legend, Adrian Peterson, who still has plenty in the tank at 36 years old.
The Texans’ run defense has allowed 4.5 yards per carry, tied with the New York Giants and Las Vegas Raiders for the eighth-most in the NFL. Even though the Texans seem to have a vulnerability on the ground, linebacker Neville Hewitt believes they will be ready to challenge the Titans’ new three-headed monster.
“I think we are prepared,” Hewitt said. “Our defense is prepared to stop the run. If that’s what they do, they are going to continue to do it whether they have Henry or not.”
Hewitt noted that quarterback Ryan Tannehill is still very effective. The former Miami Dolphins 2012 first-round pick has a 12-8 touchdown to interception ratio and a 90.8 passer rating. The Titans also have a dominant offensive line that can protect Tannehill and open up the running lanes.
“They still have a very good veteran quarterback to lead the way for them and the rest of the guys in that room are pretty good,” said Hewitt. “Their offensive line is good. That’s why they are 8-2. If you run the ball well in the league it opens up a lot of stuff for you. If we stop the run and force them in long third downs, it helps us out on defense as well.”
The Texans take on the Titans at 12:00 p.m. Central Time at Nissan Stadium. Houston has not handed Tennessee a loss since Week 15 of 2019. Tennessee seeks to hand Houston their ninth of the season as the Titans are eager to wrap up the division and vie for the No. 1 seed in the AFC.