Earl Thomas and the Baltimore Ravens defense have the difficult challenge of slowing down Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry in Saturday night's AFC Divisional Round playoff game.
Henry is the main reason why the Titans are coming to M&T Bank Stadium this weekend. He dominated the New England Patriots defense on Wild Card Weekend with 182 yards and a touchdown in a 20-13 win at Gillette Stadium. It was the most rushing yards a Belichick-led Patriots defense had allowed in a playoff game.
Thomas was asked Tuesday in a press conference about Henry's impressive performance versus the Patriots, and the veteran safety didn't pass up an opportunity to take a shot at New England's defense.
Earl Thomas noted Derrick Henry’s performance was a big reason #Titans won w/ Tannehill throwing for 72yds: “Those guys didn’t seem too interested in tackling him. I think our mindset is a little different.” #ravens pic.twitter.com/HtsWDWkShf— Kimberley A. Martin (@ByKimberleyA) January 7, 2020
Tackling Henry is easier said than done. The Titans running back led the league in rushing yards with 1,540 during the regular season and tied for the lead in rushing touchdowns with 16. His 29 broken tackles tied for the second-most among all running backs, and he missed one game.
The Ravens allowed the fifth-fewest rushing yards per game in the regular season, but a good chunk of that success might have been the result of Baltimore often having a lead on teams and forcing them to abandon the run game. Baltimore ranked 21st in yards allowed per carry (4.4).
The Titans have a strong run game, a good defense, and an accurate quarterback. They have the ability to upset the Ravens, but for that to actually happen, Henry needs to give another elite performance.