Mike Vrabel Says Titans Could've Done a Lot of Things 'Differently' vs. Chiefs

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 19, 2020

Tennessee Titans' Derrick Henry (22) runs for a touchdown past Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Anthony Hitchens (53) during the first half of the NFL AFC Championship football game Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Kansas City, MO. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)
Ed Zurga/Associated Press

Running back Derrick Henry carried the Tennessee Titans on his back during their playoff run, but he wasn't much of a factor down the stretch of Sunday's 35-24 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game.

"Yeah, I guess there were a lot of things we could've done differently," head coach Mike Vrabel said when talking to reporters about his decision to turn more toward the aerial attack after his team fell behind.

Henry's 19 carries in Sunday's loss stood in stark contrast to the Titans' first two playoff games.

The powerful running back tallied 34 carries on his way to 204 total yards and a touchdown in the AFC Wild Card Round win over the New England Patriots and 30 carries on his way to 202 total yards in the AFC Divisional Round win over the Baltimore Ravens.

Henry was a singular force who seemingly could not be tackled, and he appeared well on his way to another dominant performance against the Chiefs when he scored a touchdown and helped his team build a double-digit lead before Patrick Mahomes started working his magic.

To Vrabel's credit, Kansas City did a much better job of bottling Henry up than the Patriots and Ravens did.

The Alabama product averaged 3.6 yards per carry and struggled to find openings against the Chiefs' defensive front. The Titans were also in comeback mode for much of the second half, which makes it more difficult to control the clock with the ground game.

They surely would have been better off riding Henry for a few more carries, but there have been far more egregious coaching mistakes in the playoffs (hello, Bill O'Brien) than not giving Henry more carries in a game he averaged less than four yards per attempt.

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