Last week, the Jaguars defense was back, shutting out the high-scoring Colts offense and QB Andrew Luck. This week, RB Derrick Henry ran all over them ... and then again, and again, and again. Henry set a franchise record with 238 rushing yards and only needed 17 carries to do it. Oh, he also scored four touchdowns, accounting for all Titans’ trips to the end zone. Henry became just the sixth player to rush for over 200 yards on fewer than 18 carries. Digging a bit deeper, Henry became the 23rdplayer in NFL history to rush for over 235 yards and did it on the fewest carries by far. Former Bengal RB Corey Dillon rushed for 278 yards on only 22 carries, the previous best mark.
Henry kicked things off with a short score on the team’s opening drive and things got really interesting early in the second quarter. After a botched punt return, QB Marcus Mariota and the Titans offense were backed up to their own one-yard line. A simple handoff to Henry resulted in one of the most dominant runs in NFL history. Not only did the former Heisman winner become the second player in NFL history to run for a 99-yard touchdown, joining Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett, but he also did so in powerful fashion. Henry pushed, slammed and stiff-armed his way down the sidelines and into the end zone for the historic score.
Henry wasn’t done, adding touchdown runs of 16 and 54 yards to make the score 30-2 as Jaguars QB Cody Kessler struggled throughout the game. Kessler did connect with WR Dede Westbrook on a second-half touchdown that surprisingly withstood an official review. Westbrook finished with a solid seven receptions for 88 yards and a score.
Henry’s game was the clear story of the night as he ended with nearly 50 fantasy points. Jags RB Leonard Fournette (36 rushing yards) and Titans WR Corey Davis (2/21/0) were fantasy flops on the night, as was Mariota, who passed for just 162 scoreless yards.
The Titans win, their fourth in a row, which keeps them in the wild card hunt while the Jaguars loss officially eliminated them from playoff contention.
It was reported on Thursday that injured QB Alex Smith has dealt with complications from his broken leg, which has required multiple surgical procedures to combat infection. These issues have put Smith’s return to the NFL in “real jeopardy,” per the report from a Redskins beat reporter. This would obviously be devastating news to Smith, who is in his first season with Washington after a career-year with Kansas City in 2017. A forced retirement would also leave the Redskins in a bad spot considering they are now down to veteran Mark Sanchez as their starting QB and have no prospects for the long-term. They will be forced to be active in free agency or the NFL Draft, or maybe even both.
The Chiefs signed recently waived veteran WR Kelvin Benjamin to a one-year deal, which essentially takes him through the remainder of the season with one of the league’s top offenses. With WR Sammy Watkins struggling with a foot injury, Benjamin could see significant snaps immediately and serve as the third target for QB Patrick Mahomes.
When asked about his injured throwing shoulder, Panthers QB Cam Newton did not rule out another offseason surgery. Newton was pulled for a late-game Hail Mary pass last week, drawing attention to his ailing shoulder. ... With veteran WR Emmanuel Sanders now done for the year, rookie WR DaeSean Hamilton is expected to start for the Broncos. ... Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold is expected to start this week after missing the past three games with a foot injury. ... Recently fired HC Mike McCarthy admitted he was unsure if he would coach in 2019…The Raiders activated RT Donald Penn from the injured reserve list, which means RB Marshawn Lynch is now ineligible to return from the IR. This will end Lynch’s season with a groin injury.
Buccaneers WR DeSean Jackson (thumb) did not practice again. He’s expected to miss his second straight game this week and has been rumored to be in danger of missing the remainder of the season. ... Falcons WR Julio Jones (foot) sat out of practice but is expected to play against the Packers this week. ... Ravens QB Joe Flacco (hip) practiced and could be active this week, though rookie QB Lamar Jackson is still expected to draw the start. ... Lions rookie RB Kerryon Johnson (knee) missed another practice and is expected to miss his third straight game. ... Colts TE Eric Ebron sat out another practice with a back injury but is still expected to play this week…Jets RB Isaiah Crowell (toe) missed practice again on Thursday. Watch Friday practice reports to get a better idea of his status. ... Giants TE Evan Engram (hamstring) practiced in full and is set to return after missing two games. ... Colts WR T.Y. Hilton missed another practice with a bad should though he is expected to be in action this week. ... Patriots stars QB Tom Brady and TE Rob Gronkowski were each removed from the injury report and will play, as expected. ... The Giants decided against activating veteran RB Jonathan Stewart (foot) from the injured reserve list, officially ending his season. ... 49ers WR Pierre Garcon missed another practice and is trending towards a third straight missed game. ... Seattle WR Doug Baldwin (hip) sat out Thursday, though he’s expected to suit up this weekend. ... Titans TE Jonnu Smith suffered a knee injury in the team’s Thursday night game. ... Several players managed to get in a limited practice. Among them were: WR Danny Amendola (knee), WR Robby Anderson (ankle), RB Joe Mixon (foot), TE David Njoku (knee), RB Kenyan Drake (shoulder), QB Matthew Stafford (back), WR Bruce Ellington (back), WR Kenny Golladay (quad), WR Keke Coutee (hamstring), RB Melvin Gordon (knee), WR Calvin Ridley (hand/elbow), WR Sammy Watkins (foot), RB Chris Carson (finger) and WR Stefon Diggs (knee).