Derrick Henry has owned the Chiefs
The Titans are 7.5-point road underdogs to the Chiefs in Sunday’s AFC title game, but they were dogs the last two weeks and were able to pull off upsets thanks to Derrick Henry. Can the Chiefs slow Henry to advance to the Super Bowl?
313 Tennessee Titans (+7.5) at 314 Kansas City Chiefs (-7.5); o/u 52.5
3:05 p.m. ET, Sunday, January 19, 2020
Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO
Public Betting Trends
According to our NFL Football Public Betting Chart page, the Chiefs are receiving 61% of the betting tickets from online sportsbooks.
Henry, a one-man wrecking crew
Henry has been basically unstoppable in recent weeks, rushing for the most yards in any two-game span in NFL postseason history (377). He also has the most consecutive games, regular season or postseason, with 180 rushing yards in three games.
Henry’s 137 rushing yards after contact against the Ravens in the Divisional playoffs and his 96 against the Patriots Wildcard Weekend are the highest and third-highest totals, respectively, for any player over the last 10 postseasons. According to ESPN Stats & Info, only Marshawn Lynch’s “Beastquake” game was better (102) than Henry’s 96-yard effort after contact against New England. No other player this postseason has gained more yards from scrimmage than Henry.
Can the Chiefs slow Henry?
The Chiefs have allowed the fourth-most yards per rush after contact this season (1.8) and have struggled to stop Henry in three career meetings with the Tennessee back. Henry rushed for 188 yards in the Titans’ Week 10 win over the Chiefs earlier this season and also gained 156 yards on the ground when Tennessee upset Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium in the 2017 Wild Card round. In fact, Henry has averaged 7.3 yards on 55 career rush attempts versus the Chiefs, which includes the postseason. That’s his most versus a single opponent with a minimum of 10 rushes.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, only four opponents were able to hold Henry to under 4.0 yards per rush this season. Those teams were the Bills, Falcons, Jaguars and Broncos, which all occurred in a four-week span. In those four games, Henry averaged just 1.3 yards per rush before contact, which limited his chances to get to the second level and punish defensive backs.
Will the Chiefs have more success versus Henry this Sunday? That may depend on the status of defensive lineman Chris Jones. Coach Andy Reid said that Jones (calf) is “day to day” after not being able to suit up for Kansas City’s win over Houston in the Divisional round. Reid added that it was an easy decision to shut Jones down for Sunday’s game since the defensive lineman wasn’t able to push off during pregame warm-ps. Reid also remained non-committal on the 25-year-old’s status for this weekend.
Given how much success Henry has had versus the Chiefs, plus seeing as how the Titans are now 7-2 against the spread in their last nine games overall and 5-0 against the number in their last five road games, those 7.5 points look mighty attractive. Plus, the Titans are 4-0 against the spread in their last four games versus the Chiefs, including 5-1 ATS in their last six trips to Kansas City.