DeMarco Murray has had a nice career and was very good last season. However, the Tennessee Titans probably aren’t still alive in the playoffs if not for Murray’s knee injury.
Murray’s injury forced a stubborn Titans coaching staff to finally give Derrick Henry the feature role in Week 17 and their first playoff game. Henry’s 66-yard touchdown was the key play in the Titans’ Week 17 win over Jacksonville that got them in the playoffs, and Henry had 156 yards in Tennessee’s comeback win over the Kansas City Chiefs in last week’s wild-card playoff game.
Then, perhaps, it’s not so bad that the Titans will be without Murray again for this week’s divisional playoff game at the New England Patriots. He was ruled out by the Titans on Wednesday.
Again, that probably sounds worse for the Titans than it is. Murray averaged 3 yards per carry in his last 10 games this season. Still, Mike Mularkey and his staff refused to move away from Murray as the starter and featured back. Murray consistently out-snapped and got more carries than Henry, even when it was obvious Murray was struggling.
So while it sounds like another obstacle for the Titans in their uphill battle to upset the Patriots, it might not be. Tennessee’s best chance to win is probably to ride Henry again, shorten the game and perhaps pull off a victory in the end. Henry gives them a better chance for that than Murray would have.
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