The 2020 NFL regular season will conclude following a meeting between the Washington Football Team and Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday Night Football. It feels like this season was over in an instant. I’m not sure if that’s because of Covid-19 or not, but it didn’t take long for the 2020 campaign to finish.
Many people believed that we were going to have a shortened season. We didn’t, but in a sense feels that way. There is a lot of football to get to on Sunday. Week 17 doesn’t have any Thursday, Saturday, or Monday games, so all of the action is today. Why Washington and the Eagles in the primetime slot? Despite the trash NFC East, one team has to go to the playoffs. A win and Wahsington is in.
The Tennessee Titans can clinch the AFC South or a wildcard berth on Sunday against the Houston Texans. If Week 17 was to get cancelled, for the sake of argument, the Titans would finish with the No. 4 seed in the AFC. If they lose and the Colts lose as well, then the Titans will guarantee a spot at the top of the AFC South.
However, a loss and Colts win would put the Titans in a tougher spot. They would need either the Ravens or Dolphins to lose to guarantee a playoff berth as a wildcard. The odds are heavily in favor of the Titans going to the playoffs in some form, but not 100%. If they wanted more piece of mind, they should have beat the Green Bay Packers last week at Lambeau.
The Titans are coming off a 40-14 loss against the Titans on Sunday Night Football in the elements. They never got off to a good start, and appeared to be bothered by the snow and cold. The Titans stay on the road, but they’ll be in a dome in Houston against the Texans. It’s been a tough season for the Texans, as they continue to sink deeper. They are coming off a 37-31 loss against the Bengals to push them to 4-11 on the year.
JJ Watt was visibly upset with his team’s effort in that outing. He didn’t mince any words in his post-game speech. Expect the Texans to show a little more heart on Sunday after Watt called out his teammates in the public. Deshaun Watson has indicated that he will play in this meaningless game at home this afternoon. Head below for our free Titans vs. Texans prop picks on January 3, 2021.
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) January 3, 2021
Derrick Henry Rushing Yards
The Green Bay Packers were able to zero in on Derrick Henry thanks to the bad weather at Lambeau Field. You also have to keep in mind that the Titans got behind early, so they weren’t able to establish what they wanted to do in Green Bay. Henry still got carries, but Tannehill was forced to drop back more than they would have hoped.
Despite the slow night for the run game, Henry still gained 98 yards on 23 carries. He never busted off any long runs, so it didn’t feel like Henry ran for 98 yards at all. Henry chipped away at the Packers to get there, and I’d say the defense did a very good job of limiting him. Henry can go into the record books with a big performance on Sunday.
He needs 223 yards to reach 2000 yards and become the eighth player in history to rush for more than 2000. That sounds like a lot, but Henry might be able to pull it off against the Texans. The Texans are next to last in the league with 151.7 yards allowed per game. Only the Cowboys have conceded more yards than the Texans have on the ground.
Henry has run for 1,777 yards and 15 touchdowns on 5.2 yards per carry. He’s not winning, but he would certainly be a deserving candidate for the MVP in 2020. Tannehill doesn’t achieve what he has without Henry in the backfield. This is a high total, but I feel confident in Henry powering himself to a standout effort to close out the regular season, and lead the Titans into the playoffs.
Derrick Henry Receiving Yards
Being a solid pass-catcher has become an important tool for running backs in the NFL. Running backs coming out of college earn bonus points if they can play a role as a receiver out of the backfield. When you’re as good as Derrick Henry taking handoffs, then that point might be a bit moot, though.
If more screens and plays were designed for Henry to catch receptions from Tannehill, then I’m sure he would do a good job. However, the offense isn’t exactly designed for it, and the vast majority of his production comes from running downhill. The Titans are likely going to force feed Henry against a defense that has shown no ability to defend the run. He’s going to see a lot of carries.
Henry has caught just 5 receptions for 21 yards over the last four games. Note that Henry has had more than 7 receiving yards in just one game since October 18 versus the Steelers. Since beating the Steelers for 52 yards, Henry has put up 23 yards receiving in ten games. 9 yards on one reception against the Browns is the best Henry has done since October. I will go OVER Henry rushing yards and UNDER receiving yards against the Texans.