Throughout the 2020 NFL season, the Tennessee Titans have powered their way through opponents by relying on their physical, yet explosive run first offense.
Derrick Henry has completely set the league on fire once again this season, and doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. But it hasn’t been all Henry though, in fact it’s been far from that notion.
Ryan Tannehill has been given a number of opportunities to build off the success Henry has had in the run game, and he’s delivered by simply staying as accurate as possible, while giving AJ Brown and Corey Davis plenty of room to catch the ball in space and work their magic.
To simplify it all, Ryan Tannehill, Derrick Henry, AJ Brown, and Corey Davis have been absolutely fantastic this year.
But what if I told you that even with all the success this group of players has had this year, they still have a chance to set records, and end up having one of the more prolific seasons a skill position group has ever had?
What Could Make This Group So Historic
A 4,000 yard passer, a 2,000 yard rusher, and two 1,000 yard receivers.
No team in NFL history has ever accomplished the secondary mission of attaining those statistical accolades. It’s far too difficult to achieve it in the NFL, not only because the competition is top tier, but because it’s almost impossible to have this amount of success with a strictly balanced offensive attack.
But with 3 games left to go, the Titans have 4 players that are in position to achieve such a feat.
Derrick Henry needs 468 rushing yards over his final three games to hit 2000. He'll have to average 156 YDS/G.
Lions, Packers and Texans are on the schedule.
— Dave Loughran (@Loughy_D) December 15, 2020
To acquire such overwhelming statistical success on the offensive side of the ball, an offense would usually lean towards an aggressive run game or passing game. You can run a balanced offense, but I think it’s safe to say you wouldn’t be able to approach the numbers the Titans are creeping towards right about now.
For starters, when you have a bell-cow like Derrick Henry, you don’t expect your wide receivers to get the big number of targets and catches to push their receiving stats to a high end level. All you’re trying to do is take the air out of the football, giving your passing game some big play opportunities off play action, all while trying to control the clock and shorten the game as much as possible.
But with the Titans, normalcy has been thrown out the window. Actually it hasn’t just been thrown, its been manhandled, then thrown off a 2 story window into the street.
Instead of the Titans’ passing numbers taking a bit of a hit from the added emphasis on the run game, the numbers have actually stayed steady in the above average range.
Ryan Tannehill is going to shatter the Titans era single season passing yards record, and he still has an outside shot to get 4,000 yards passing on the season.
Corey Davis and AJ Brown are both within striking distance of 1,000 yard seasons, and the crazy thing is, they’re probably not going to approach 80 total catches on the year.
Less than 80 catches to go along with 1,000 yards receiving, if you don’t know how crazy that is, just know it’s pretty crazy. You’re not supposed to be in a position to finish with 1,000 yards receiving while not getting a steady volume of targets and catches.
You’re just not.
What makes this even more crazier, is the fact that Derrick Henry is just under 500 yards away from hitting 2,000 rushing yards for the year. If you’re a football enthusiast, you should know the number of carries it takes to normally get 1,500 rushing yards in a season, let alone 2,000.
Henry is just 3 carries shy of hitting 300 for the year, and with the Titans still fighting for a right to participate in postseason football, Henry is going to easily surpass that number, probably even go past the 350 carry mark.
Corey Davis and AJ Brown shouldn’t find their selves in a prime spot to get 1,000 yards receiving, not with the way the offense is constructed in terms of touches.
Yet here we are, discussing the previously thought impossible, and watching it potentially become reality.
What this group of players has done to this point is already damn impressive. Adding the 4K/2K/1K/1K achievement to their resumes will be the unintentional cherry on top.
How Will This Success Reflect On The Titans If The Historic Stat Is Achieved?
If this stat is achieved, and that’s a big if, we’d have to start discussing whether this offense is one of best one the entire organization has ever had.
We’re not just talking about the Titans era, but the Houston Oilers era as well.
It’s already the best offense in Titans history specifically, there’s no doubt about that. But I think it’d be fair to compare it against some of the best ones this organization has had as a whole.
Now you might call me crazy and say I’m being a prisoner of the moment perhaps. Warren Moon led some pretty electric offenses during the Houston Oilers days, including the infamous “Run-and-Shoot” offense that set the league on fire during the early to mid 1990s.
But even with that offense on the table, I’d still stack the 2020 Titans’ offense up against it.
You can call me crazy, but I still think it’s a fair discussion to have.