Weekly Bold Prediction: Steelers D holds Henry under 100 yards rushing
Derrick Henry leads the NFL in rushing yards. The Pittsburgh Steelers defense is second in rushing defense.
Each has played five games this season, which doesn’t skew the statistics as one may think – and perhaps suggesting that a team who lost their defensive play caller at inside linebacker can slow a running back who just topped 200 yards a week earlier is too bold.
Then again, isn’t that the point?
Let me be frank: I do believe that Henry will get close to 100 yards on the ground this Sunday when he faces the Steelers. However, in no way do I think he tops the century mark.
Part of my belief is that the Steelers offense will do their part in helping keep Tennessee’s time of possession to a minimum, perhaps, even forcing them to not chew the clock with Henry handling the rock.
Another suspicion of mine is that the Titans offense certainly flows through Henry, but it’s not as if the Steelers defense has been incapable of slowing opposing running backs all season.
In Week 1 they held Saquon Barkley to six total yards.
In Week 2 Melvin Gordon was limited to 70 yards.
Last Sunday the Browns vaunted running game featured Kareem Hunt gaining only 40.
There’s reason to believe that Henry is in a class all his own, and that is true. However, it’s not as if the Steelers were facing chumps coming at them out of opposing backfields in each of the last five games.
The Steelers have yet to allow a 100-yard rusher in any game they’ve played in 2020, while Henry hasn’t gained 100 yards in two of his outings this season as well (against the Jaguars and Bills).
That’s why I’m boldly predicting that the Steelers defense will focus on allowing Henry to do any damage this Sunday, holding him as yet another back who won’t drop 100 on Pittsburgh’s run D.