Is a healthy Derrick Henry enough to shorten the Titans’ odds of making the Playoffs?
Despite the return of star running back Derrick Henry, the Tennessee Titans had a rough start to the 2022-23 campaign, falling to the New York Giants by a score of 21-20 in Week 1 (yes, the Giants actually won a season opener).
Titans supporters were surely pleased to witness the regular-season return of a completely healthy Derrick Henry, as well as a promising performance from quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who passed for 266 yards and two touchdowns.
It was a tense back-and-forth game that could have gone either way in the end, however, in all honesty, it really should have been the Titans’ first deposit into the win column this year. The Titans narrowly missed out on the Week 1 win thanks to a missed game-winning field goal by kicker Randy Bullock, who pushed the ball wide left from 47 yards out as time expired.
Titans Playoff odds 2022
Despite the loss of A.J. Brown to the Eagles in the offseason, Titans fans should be encouraged by the return of a completely healthy Derrick Henry this season. However, oddsmakers are not as bullish about the Titans’ prospects of making the playoffs this year. The average of the odds set by the top betting sites in the US for the Titans to make the playoffs is currently at +167. For all you non-sports bettors out there, this implies that the oddsmakers feel the Titans have a significantly higher chance of missing the playoffs this year rather than making it.
Surprisingly, the Titans were the overwhelming favorite to win the AFC South Division during the summer. With the return of 2015 Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry on the horizon, the Titans appeared to be on track to make the NFL Playoffs for the fourth straight season.
AFC South Division Odds
Here are the current average AFC South Division odds from the biggest US betting sites to put things into perspective:
Derrick Henry’s lackluster Week 1 performance indicative of a bigger problem in Tennessee
Derrick Henry had an uncharacteristically quiet outing against the New York Giants defense in Week 1, averaging only 3.9 yards per run. Henry ran the ball 21 times for a total of 89 yards. Any NFL fan can tell you that is well below his norm, especially for a player that many believe to be the top running back in the league right now.
When you look at the stats closely, the lack of offensive performance in the run game may not be on Derrick Henry’s shoulders.
Out of his 21 running attempts, Henry was stopped at the line of scrimmage 10 times. This is symptomatic of a larger problem in Tennessee, one that even a completely healthy Derrick Henry may be unable to overcome on his own.
While I’m sure that having Derrick Henry healthy and on the field every week this season will do more good than harm to the Titans’ playoffs odds, without an offensive line to generate the necessary gaps for Henry to stretch his legs, Henry’s effect on the Titans’ odds of making the playoffs may be minimal.
If the Titans can resolve their offensive line issues, Henry will be able to have a greater influence on their prospects of making the playoffs, but as things stand right now, it appears like not even Derrick Henry’s stellar rushing power will be enough to carry the Titans to the playoffs.
Sep 11, 2022; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) leaves the field after a stop by the New York Giants during the second half at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Despite the return of star running back Derrick Henry, the Tennessee Titans had a rough start to the…
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