Top 5 Rushing Matchups Week 17

Footballguys Staff takes you through the Top 5 Rushing Matchups for Week 17



Top 5 Passing Matchups Week 17
Bottom 5 Passing Matchups Week 17
Top 5 Rushing Matchups Week 17
Bottom 5 Rushing Matchups Week 17
Rushing Matchup Chart Week 17
Passing Matchup Chart Week 17

Tennessee at Houston

The Titans have worked up an intriguing air attack around Ryan Tannehill, but there’s still no substitute for their ground-dominant ways. They’re much more content to send the 250-pound Derrick Henry relentlessly at a tiring defense, particularly while holding a late lead. Whenever they can, they look to give Henry 25+ carries and feed off that defensive attention to strike through the air. They’ve certainly built the right unit to do it. Henry offers such a dazzling blend of power and quick-footed burst, and he works behind one of the game’s premier interior lines. Roger Saffold is enjoying another high-quality year at left guard, while Nate Davis has broken out as a dominator on the right. Even Tannehill gets into the mix: he’s scored four times on the ground over the past five weeks.

The Texans continue to field quite possibly 2020’s weakest run defense. Last week represented a low point for this unit, as two names ripped right out of 2017 (Samaje Perine and Giovani Bernard) were able to grind out a surprising Bengals win. On the year, no one has given up more yards per rush than this beleaguered group, with 11 opposing runners topping 80 yards on the day. They dearly miss nose tackle D.J. Reader, who left a massive hole in the middle of this defense in the offseason. There’s no longer a real presence on the nose, and linebackers Zach Cunningham and Tyrell Adams aren’t difference-makers enough to plug things on their own. Cunningham is more of a shuffle-and-chase guy than one who blows up runs in the hole, and talented backs have taken full advantage. Soft up the middle and down the field, they’ve been beaten terribly by power runners with burst - including Derrick Henry himself, who racked up 212 yards and 2 touchdowns back in Week 6.

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