The buzz surrounding the Las Vegas Raiders coming into this week’s matchup was going to be their run defense. In particular, whether they could stop, or even slow down Derrick Henry, was on everyone’s mind. Well, it’s not going too good so far.
Coming into today’s game, the Raiders had the 16th ranked defense in terms of rushing yards allowed (219). Overall, it could have been worse heading into the Titans game. Obviously, the Raiders hadn’t faced a running back of the caliber of Henry yet, so that ranking was certainly going to be tested.
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Raiders News: How are the Raiders doing against Derrick Henry?
Henry had gotten off to a slow start this year, especially against the Buffalo Bills, where he was held to 25 yards rushing. Today, against Las Vegas, Henry has already accumulated 64 yards on the ground. This is based on 11 carries for an average of 5.8 yards per attempt. He also broke off a beautiful 24-yard run in the first quarter before being stopped by Johnathan Abram.
Henry is also making his presence known through the air in the passing game. Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill has targeted Henry three times so far. With No. 22, he hauled it down all three times for a total of 42 yards, making a big 23-yard reception in his own right. Overall, it’s been ugly for the Raiders’ defense. There’s no other way to put it. For the Raiders to get back into it, Patrick Graham’s defense will need to tighten up the screws. You can only do so much against Henry. If your tackling isn’t pristine, he’ll make you pay. Right now, Raiders fans are wondering what all the hype was surrounding Graham’s defense this offseason. It’s understandable frustration from a fanbase that has been underwhelmed by their team’s performance so far. Let’s see what happens in the second half.
*Top Photo: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports