Kansas City Chiefs

Slowing down Titans RB Derrick Henry is priority No. 1 for Chiefs

In Week 9, the Kansas City Chiefs will be faced with a royally large task of slowing down Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry.

Recently named the AFC Offensive Player of the Month for October, Henry has averaged over five yards per carry on 112 rushing attempts over the past month. He started off a little slow this season, but Henry has been nearly unstoppable as of late. He presents a huge challenge for Steve Spagnuolo’s defense in Week 9.

Chiefs HC Andy Reid believes that Henry has already done enough to be considered a future Hall of Famer.

“Offensively, you start with 22 (Titans RB Derrick Henry) and he’s a good football player – a future Hall of Famer and just a heck of a player,” Reid said.

Henry’s career accolades run deep. He’s a two-time NFL rushing yards and rushing touchdowns leader. He won the NFL Offensive Player of the Year award in 2020. He’s twice been a Pro Bowler and twice been an All-Pro.

So how do you go about stopping the 6-foot-3 and 250-pound running back?

You don’t.

Andy Reid says you can only really hope to slow him down.

“Yeah, there are going to be things that you’re going to do to try and stop him. I think the whole NFL has tried that somewhere,” Reid said. “He’s a great player, and you’re not going to stop him on every play. You just want to get him – you want to get the numbers up where it’s reasonable of stops and so he’s a good one. I know our guys will be fired up for it and they’re going to work their tails off this week to play against him because he’s, like I said he’s a future Hall of Fame player. You get excited about that.”

The lone win that the Chiefs have against a Titans team featuring Henry, they limited him to 19 attempts for 69 yards and a touchdown. That came in the AFC title game back in 2019-20’s Super Bowl run for Kansas City. It’s still a respectable stat line, but hardly the back-breaking 30-plus attempts for over 200 yards and two touchdowns that Henry put up against the Houston Texans just a week ago.

For the defensive players tasked with slowing Henry down, they know exactly the type of challenge they’re facing. Carlos Dunlap has been in the league a long time and has only ever seen a few guys like Henry. But the key to getting those types of players on the ground is the same.

“The Bus (Steelers RB Jerome Bettis) and Brandon Jacobs, before (Derrick Henry) were probably the closest to how he was,” Dunlap said. “Obviously, I’ve tackled Brandon Jacobs. (Derrick Henry) is a big back, but obviously, we’ve got to tackle him. This is a game where we’re tacklers, so if you get his legs, he can’t run without his legs. But he’s not going to let you just have his legs, so 2 and 3 guys, whomever. One big guy, whomever. We welcome the challenge and (we’ll) get it done.”