DeMarco Murray (hamstring) is listed as a game time decision for the Tennessee Titans as they prepare to face the Seattle Seahawks Sunday afternoon.
Murray re-injured the hamstring that kept him out of action through most of the preseason last Sunday in Jacksonville. He was a limited participant in Friday’s practice.
If I were a betting man, my money is on Murray sitting this one out.
This development, however, could be a blessing in disguise for Tennessee because Derrick Henry’s style is better suited to succeed against Seattle’s vaunted defense.
The Titans have a smash mouth identity on offense, and the Seahawks have that same mindset on defense. It’s a classic case of the irresistible force meeting the immovable object.
The team that wins the battle in the trenches will most likely emerge victorious.
Murray hasn’t resembled the player that led the AFC in rushing last season, averaging just 3 yards per carry in two starts this year.
It’s obvious that Murray’s hamstring is affecting his explosiveness, and if he hasn’t been able to practice full speed then he could be a sitting duck for Seattle’s massive and athletic front seven.
Backup running back Derrick Henry has been lights out all summer, and was the offensive MVP while filling in for Murray in last week’s win over Jacksonville.
His 92 yards rushing was a career-high, and he would have easily eclipsed the 100 yard mark for the first time in his career if left in the game late in the fourth quarter.
It’s more than just the yardage total, Henry imposed his will on an equally stout Jaguars front seven last week…bludgeoning them into submission in the second half with his power.
It is this type of back that gives Tennessee its best chance to stay committed to the run Sunday.
The Seahawks allowed a whopping 8.4 yards per carry to the San Francisco 49ers last week as Carlos Hyde went for 124 yards on just 15 carries.
With all due respect to Hyde, who is a physical downhill runner himself, Henry is bigger and stronger…and playing behind a better offensive line.
No, I am not saying that Henry should supplant Murray in the starting lineup, at least not until we see Murray fully recovered and running with confidence.
I am saying that Henry’s body type and playing style is tailor-made to move immovable objects.
And for this week, it gives the Titans their best chance to win.