This is no time and place to take things personally. Not when it comes to taking down Derrick Henry.
“You got to have the whole army with you, and it just takes everybody,’’ Giants linebacker Alec Ogletree said Wednesday. “All 11 of us rallying to the ball like we’ve been doing and making sure we try not to have any one-on-one tackles with him.’’
It seemed as if all 11 Jaguars on defense last week had a shot at bringing down Henry, the freight train awaiting on the Giants’ tracks Sunday at MetLife Stadium. Henry bulled and sprinted and juked and stiff-armed his way to a 99-yard touchdown run to spark a 30-9 blowout of the Jaguars, joining former Cowboys great Tony Dorsett as the only players in NFL history to register a 99-yard run from scrimmage.
The dynamic play was repeated and replayed so often on highlight packages it seems as if Henry still hasn’t stopped abusing the defenders who looked as if they wanted no part of the 247-pound bruiser.
“You definitely want to slow him down from the start and nip that in the bud,’’ linebacker Kareem Martin said. “He’s a bigger guy and once he gets rolling, usually those big backs, as the game goes along, get more and more powerful because you’re tired of hitting him. Hopefully we can nip it in the bud early.’’
It was a blip on Henry’s radar screen. He demolished the Jaguars for a Titans franchise-record 238 yards. Henry’s four rushing touchdowns tied Earl Campbell and Lorenzo White for the most in one game in Titans/Oilers franchise history. It was far and away the most productive game of Henry’s three-year NFL career. In his previous 43 games, the former Alabama star and Heisman Trophy winner managed to run for more than 100 yards twice. Before he erupted against the Jaguars, Henry’s high-yardage game this season was 58 yards.
The Giants are coming off their most effective run-stopping game this year, limiting Adrian Peterson to 16 yards on 10 rushing attempts in a 40-16 demolition of the Redskins.
“You’ve got to stop him like you do Adrian Peterson or any marquee, downhill, hard-running back,’’ coach Pat Shurmur said. “Good run defense, it takes the whole team to fit the runs properly, and then when he’s in your area or in your gap, you’ve got to get him on the ground. We’ve got to do a really good job of fitting the runs, and we’ve got to do a good job of tackling, and I think it’s a team thing.’’