Henry reigns as Titans hold off Colts for 24-17 victory
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Derrick Henry got right back to business against the Indianapolis Colts.
He took on some defenders by slamming his big body through the line of scrimmage, eluded others in the open field and even turned receptions into key first downs.
Yes, in the matchup of NFL rushing champs Sunday, it was the two-time winner who reigned supreme.
Henry rushed for a season-high 114 yards, scored one touchdown and watched the Tennessee Titans’ defense make three late stops to preserve a 24-17 victory.
“Derrick ran hard and I thought the coaches had a really good plan for how we were going to run the football,” coach Mike Vrabel said. “It wasn’t perfect, but that did look more like our running game.”
It was the healthiest the bruising Henry has looked since breaking a bone in his right foot in his previous trip to Indy, an injury that may have cost him a third consecutive rushing crown.
Clearly, Henry wasn’t the same in Tennessee’s playoff loss last season or in the first three games this season when he averaged 3.4 yards per carry.
Yet the Titans (2-2) followed the familiar script by leaning heavily on Henry early and he delivered with his fifth 100-yard game in the past six games of this series and rode it to a franchise-record four straight against Indy. The Titans are 11-2 against AFC South opponents since 2020.
And once again, all the Colts (1-2-1) could do was try to keep up. Three turnovers and the three missed scoring chances over the final 16 minutes were just too much to overcome. The Colts have one win in their past six games.
“We feel like we’re seeing some things we want to see,” Colts coach Frank Reich said. “But in the end we need to play better, we need to execute better, we need to stop turning the ball over, we need to start getting turnovers, we need to run the football a little bit better and start faster.”
Finding a way to keep Henry in check might help, too. He needed less than two quarters to top 100 yards and stake the Titans to a 24-3 lead.
Ryan Tannehill took advantage of the first turnover, Matt Ryan’s eighth fumble of the season, with a 7-yard TD pass to Robert Woods. Henry extended the margin by making Brandon Facyson miss in the backfield and sprinting 19 yards for the score. After the teams traded field goals, Tannehill hooked up with Chig Okonkwo on an 8-yard TD pass.