Running games overshadowed by QBs in national title game
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — In four years at Alabama, Damien Harris has shared the backfield with several runners who either have or will play in the NFL.
From Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake in 2015, to Bo Scarbrough the next two years, to his current running mates Najee Harris and Joshua Jacobs, the top-ranked Crimson Tide (14-0) have always had a variety of running threats to fuel their offense.
Derrick Henry focused on helping Titans win, not 1,000 yards
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Unthinkable at the start of December, Derrick Henry has put together the best two-game stretch in franchise history to put himself 118 yards shy of the first 1,000-yard rushing season in his three-year NFL career.
It's still not a number that the Titans running back and 2015 Heisman Trophy winner is pondering.
Titans give Marcus Mariota rave reviews for punishing block
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Derrick Henry heard Marcus Mariota throw his shoulder into Giants linebacker Alec Ogletree to clear the corner for the Titans running back.
Tennessee safety Kevin Byard saw the block from the sideline.
Watching replays sure makes the block from the Titans quarterback look even more punishing.
Titans shut down Saquon Barkley and NY offense in rain
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Sensational rookie running back Saquon Barkley was stuffed repeatedly for the first time in more than a month. Eli Manning had little time to throw, and there was no Odell Beckham Jr. on the field to provide relief.
Henry rushes for 170 and 2 TDs, Titans win 3rd straight
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans are hoping to get to the playoffs riding the tandem of Derrick and the Defense.
It had been a perfect formula the last couple of weeks, and on a rainy Sunday it led to a third straight win and the Titans' first shutout in 18 years.
Titans can rest up after winning 2 of 3 games in 11-day span
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Mike Vrabel asked his Tennessee Titans to play physical in their third game in 11 days. With Derrick Henry leading the way with a handful of rushing records, they did just that with a big victory to stay in the AFC playoff chase.
Now they get a weekend to rest before their final road trip of the season, and then another short week.
Jaguars’ defense gets embarrassed by Titans’ Henry
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Jacksonville Jaguars' defense followed up a shutout with a washout.
A defense that prides itself as one of the NFL's best got embarrassed on a national stage by Derrick Henry in the Jaguars' 30-9 loss to the Tennessee Titans on Thursday night.
"It was sad out there," Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey said.
Henry runs into NFL record book as Titans rout Jaguars 30-9
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Under center at the 1-yard line, Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota checked out of a quarterback sneak, and Derrick Henry did the rest — as much with his arms as his legs.
The 6-foot-3, 247-pound Henry sped and stiff-armed his way to a record-tying 99-yard touchdown run , and Tennessee routed the Jacksonville Jaguars 30-9 on Thursday night to stay in the playoff chase.
Derrick Henry possibly running out of time with the Titans
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Derrick Henry possibly is running out of time with the Tennessee Titans.
Titans’ Henry not happy with his ‘rough start’ to season
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Titans running back Derrick Henry makes it very clear he is not happy with himself and his "rough" start this season.
Run-first Jets looking for ‘identity game’ against Jaguars
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — New York Jets left tackle Kelvin Beachum calls Sunday's visit to Jacksonville an "identity game."
"We have to be able to run the ball," Beachum said. "They know that and we know that."
The Jaguars (2-1) actually welcome it after what happened in the fourth quarter last week.
Titans Preview Capsule
TENNESSEE TITANS (10-8)
New faces: Coach Mike Vrabel, defensive coordinator Dean Pees, offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur, CB Malcolm Butler, RB Dion Lewis, G Kevin Pamphile, QB Blaine Gabbert, G Xavier Su'a-Filo, LB Will Compton, DL Bennie Logan, LB Rashaan Evans, LB Harold Landry, S Kendrick Lewis, S Kenny Vaccaro.
Coach: Derrick Henry, Dion Lewis make a potent backfield duo
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Titans coach Mike Vrabel believes Tennessee's running back duo will be a problem for opponents.
The former linebacker refused to tip his hand when asked how he would defend Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis himself.
"I would have rather not tackled Derrick, and I would have rather not covered Dion" in the open field, said Vrabel, who played 14 years in the NFL.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Derrick Henry has patiently waited for his chance to shine and now heading into his third NFL season the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner will have his chance.
Henry isn't sharing any specific goals for yards or touchdowns, but the Tennessee Titans running back made one thing clear: He is looking forward to a big season.
2014 top offensive player RB DeMarco Murray retires
DeMarco Murray is retiring from the NFL.
The 2014 Offensive Player of the Year made the announcement on ESPN on Friday, four months after being released by the Tennessee Titans.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Linebacker Rashaan Evans couldn't be happier after the Tennessee Titans drafted him with the No. 22 pick, a selection predicted by his friend Derrick Henry.
The former Alabama teammates had discussed how much they wanted to play together in the NFL. Henry, a Heisman Trophy winner at Alabama in 2015, called Evans once the pick was in.
"Everything worked out as we talked about," Evans said.
Titans plan to release RB DeMarco Murray
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans plan to release running back DeMarco Murray.
The Titans announced their intentions Thursday, when general manager Jon Robinson said in a statement that Murray "was a pro in every facet and we wish him and his family the best moving forward."
- Norfolk Daily NewsColts top Titans, make playoffs following 1-5 startDecember 31, 2018
- The Washington TimesJosh Norman on Taylor Lewan confrontation: 'Ultimate disrespect'December 27, 2018
- The Washington TimesDerrick Henry latest threat standing in Redskins way of playoffsDecember 20, 2018
- Norfolk Daily News9 route: Top 9 fantasy football waiver targets in Week 15December 12, 2018
Alabama football: Damien Harris, Buggs announce they’re coming back
TUSCALOOSA — On the same day five juniors departed, Alabama kept two massive pieces to its 2018 team.
Running back Damien Harris, a 1,000-yard rusher in each of his last two seasons, will spurn the NFL draft and return for his senior season. Defensive end Isaiah Buggs will, too, after announcing the decision on Twitter early Thursday morning.
Lauded for his accomplishments both with and without the ball, WalterFootball.com ranked Harris the sixth-best running back in this draft class.
Titans’ Henry looks to build on postseason debut vs Patriots
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Derrick Henry isn't a big or brash talker. That's what made the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner calling his performance "kind of soft" in Tennessee's regular-season finale stand out.
The massive running back sure made up for that with an NFL postseason debut for the record books.
Titans running back DeMarco Murray will not play vs Pats
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee coach Mike Mularkey says running back DeMarco Murray will not play against the New England Patriots in the AFC divisional round.
Mularkey said Wednesday that Murray is not close enough to play Saturday night in New England.
The coach had listed Murray as day to day after the Titans (10-7) beat Kansas City in the wild-card round. But Murray has yet to practice, and Mularkey says the veteran running back is close enough to play next week.
Titans confident with Marcus Mariota doing bit of everything
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Titans linebacker Derrick Morgan says he kind of blacked out.
Everyone who stayed on the Tennessee sideline went crazy, celebrating.
As a group of teammates mobbed him , quarterback Marcus Mariota simply stood and looked back at them knowing he had helped the Titans to their first playoff victory in 14 years in his postseason debut.
Tennessee Titans coach says DeMarco Murray ‘day-to-day;’ Derrick Henry to start Saturday vs Patriots
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Derrick Henry is expected to be the Tennessee Titans' starting running back in Saturday's divisional-round game against the New England Patriots, coach Mike Mularkey confirmed.
Titans’ Spain active for AFC playoff game vs Chiefs
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Titans left guard Quinton Spain is active for Tennessee's wild-card playoff game against the Chiefs, while tight end Jonnu Smith and cornerback Kalan Reed are also active.
Spain had been questionable because of his back. Smith and Reed had passed concussion tests.
The Titans had already ruled out running back Demarco Murray, who hurt his right knee in a loss Dec. 24 to the Rams. That means Derrick Henry will again carry the workload.
Titans won’t have DeMarco Murray for regular-season finale
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans will play their important regular-season finale against the Jacksonville Jaguars without running back DeMarco Murray.
Murray sprained his right knee in a 27-23 loss to the Los Angeles Rams last Sunday. Titans coach Mike Mularkey ruled Murray out Friday.
A look at the Alabama-Clemson playoff showdowns
No. 1 Clemson and No. 4 Alabama will meet in the College Football Playoffs for the third straight year when they square off in the Sugar Bowl. They split the first two meetings in down-to-the-wire national championship games.
Here's a look at those epic clashes and the teams' seasons heading into Monday night's semifinal showdown:
Titans coach not ruling DeMarco Murray out vs. Jaguars yet
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee fans wanting to see Derrick Henry start at running back instead of DeMarco Murray will get their chance to see what that looks like in the Titans' most important game of the season.
Coach Mike Mularkey isn't ruling Murray out of the Titans' regular-season finale against Jacksonville on Sunday. Mularkey said Tuesday that the veteran will be limited at best if an injured knee allows him to play at all.
Clocked at 21.64 mph, Titans’ Henry promises to be faster
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry says he didn't want to be caught from behind and promises he'll be even faster the next time he breaks out into the open.
Hey 8-4: Titans stay atop AFC South by beating Texans 24-13
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee left tackle Taylor Lewan remembers only too well how the Titans always seemed to find a way to lose through his first two seasons in the NFL.
Now they're finding ways to win, and that's all that matters.
Titans rally to beat Colts 20-16, snap losing streak at Indy
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry took it personally when Tennessee started slowly Sunday.
The two running backs made sure they finished with a flurry.
Henry delivered the body blows with five strong runs midway through the fourth quarter and Murray finally punched it in from 1 yard with 5:59 left, giving the Titans a 20-16 win and their first victory in 10 tries at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Titans come off bye, win 3rd straight beating Ravens 23-20
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans are interested only in stacking victories right now.
Reaching the halfway point tied atop the AFC South means they have time to fix what they must do better.
Marcus Mariota threw for 218 yards and two touchdowns, and the Titans beat the Baltimore Ravens 23-20 Sunday for their third straight victory.
Titans spend bye working on issues with run game, red zone
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A four-play sequence sums up the Tennessee Titans' season so far.
With first-and-goal at the Cleveland 1, the Titans ran DeMarco Murray twice without success. Marcus Mariota missed a wide-open tight end Delanie Walker in the end zone. Then they couldn't reach pay dirt on fourth down with Derrick Henry running behind a line featuring Pro Bowler Taylor Lewan at left tackle and All-Pro Jack Conklin at right tackle.
Murray, Walker, Morgan questionable for Titans vs. Browns
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans are unsure whether a trio of players will be able to play Sunday when they visit the winless Cleveland Browns.
Running back DeMarco Murray, who tweaked his hamstring for the second time this season Monday night, returned to practice Friday but was limited in his workouts. He will be a game-time decision.
Murray limited at Titans’ practice, questionable vs Seattle
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Pro Bowl running back DeMarco Murray returned to practice, but his status for Sunday's game against Seattle remains undecided because of a hamstring injury.
Murray was listed as questionable after being limited on Friday. He had missed two straight practices with the injury.
"He looked better today. He took more snaps today," Titans coach Mike Mularkey said.
Ground-and-pound: Titans run all over Jaguars in 37-16 rout
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans are boring and bullish when they're at their best.
And opponents bear the brunt of Tennessee's bruising attack. Just ask the Jacksonville Jaguars, who were gouged for 179 yards rushing in a 37-16 drubbing Sunday.
Henry comes home, carries load for Titans late in 37-16 win
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Derrick Henry lowered his shoulder and knocked Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey to the ground. He did the same to A.J. Bouye a few plays later.
Henry took advantage of a brief stint as Tennessee's featured back Sunday and delivered his best game in two seasons.
Back to reality: Titans dominate 2nd half, top Jaguars 37-16
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Tennessee and Jacksonville each played much more like all those preseason predictions Sunday.
Derrick Henry, Delanie Walker and Jalston Fowler each ran for touchdowns, and the Titans pounded the Jaguars in the second half for a 37-16 victory.
Reality check? The result was quite possibly more indicative of what to expect from the AFC South rivals than what they showed in their season openers.
Will a Heisman longshot prevail for third straight season?
Preseason longshots the past two years have ended up winning the Heisman Trophy.
Last year, Louisville's Lamar Jackson had 50-1 odds when practices started. Jackson quickly became the odds-on favorite though after his performance in the first three games where he accounted for 18 touchdowns, including 10 rushing, and became the youngest player to win the award.
Henry learned a lot being Titans’ backup after Heisman year
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Derrick Henry has a basic approach to backing up a Pro Bowl running back in DeMarco Murray with the Tennessee Titans.
Feel, and work, as if he is a starter in the NFL.
Even if he did happen to win the Heisman Trophy in 2015.
"It was different coming off the year that I had in college coming in being the second guy," Henry said. "But it was a growth year, an experience year, helped me learn a lot. Prepared me for this year to get better."
METAIRIE, La. (AP) — Asked whether he had concerns about Saints rookie running back Alvin Kamara's decision-making, teammate Mark Ingram grinned momentarily.
Ingram, a former Heisman trophy winner at Alabama, saw the humor in questioning the cognitive skills of a player who once transferred from the Crimson Tide to historical rival Tennessee.
The truth, however, is that Ingram respects Kamara's decision — and his talent.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Titans rookie wide receiver Corey Davis is having an MRI exam on his hamstring after being hurt catching a pass during a 1-on-1 drill.
Coach Mike Mularkey says he didn't have an update on Davis when practice ended.
Leonard Fournette posts fastest Combine 40 time for 240-plus pound back in 14 years
INDIANAPOLIS — Former LSU running back Leonard Fournette’s 240-pound weigh-in was the talk of the NFL Scouting Combine on Thursday, viewed as a potential red flag for a player who followed up his dominant sophomore 2015 season with an injury-marred 2016 that culminated in his decision to skip his bowl game.
Who will be AP’s college football Player of the Year?
The Associated Press has been handing out a college football player of the year award since 1998. Five times the AP's award has gone to a player other than the Heisman Trophy winner, including last year when Stanford's Christian McCaffrey beat out Alabama's Derrick Henry.
Heisman winner Derrick Henry now patient backup with Titans
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie promised Derrick Henry he would touch the ball more as an NFL rookie than the running back did as a freshman back in college at Alabama.
Robiskie delivered, actually doubling up on the workload Henry had his first year in college with four games left.
It's just nowhere near what any NFL running back really wants.
Heisman finalists: Jackson, Watson, Peppers, 2 Sooners
NEW YORK (AP) — After putting on a show in Death Valley back in October, Clemson's Deshaun Watson and Louisville's Lamar Jackson will face off again.
This time in New York with the Heisman Trophy on the line.
The Atlantic Coast Conference quarterbacks who dueled in one of the best games of the college football season were named Heisman finalists Monday, along with Michigan's versatile star Jabrill Peppers and Oklahoma teammates Baker Mayfield and Dede Westbrook.
Heisman finalists: Jackson, Watson, Peppers, 2 Sooners
NEW YORK (AP) — Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson is a Heisman Trophy finalist for the second consecutive season, joining Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, Michigan linebacker Jabrill Peppers and Oklahoma teammates Baker Mayfield and Dede Westbrook.
The finalists were announced Monday on ESPN and the award will be presented Saturday in New York.
Patriots TE Gronkowski leaves with back injury
Star tight end Rob Gronkowski left New England's 22-17 victory against the New York Jets with a back injury, and the lowly Chicago Bears lost another linebacker when Danny Trevathan got hurt in the closing minutes of their 27-21 loss to Tennessee on Sunday.
Gronkowski left in the first quarter. He was questionable coming into the day after missing last weekend's game at San Francisco with a chest injury. It was not immediately certain if the latest injury was connected to the previous one.
Trevathan added to Bears’ lengthy injury list
CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Bears continue to pile up injuries and losses this season.
They lost another important player and came up short, falling 27-21 to the Tennessee Titans after Josh Bellamy dropped a pass in the end zone in the closing minute on Sunday.
Linebacker Danny Trevathan left in the closing minutes with a right knee injury that coach John Fox said was serious, just another blow for a team that's been hit hard all season.
Titans will have both DeMarco Murray, Henry against Packers
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Titans will have a full complement of running backs Sunday against the Green Bay Packers with both DeMarco Murray and rookie Derrick Henry practicing fully Friday.
Murray, the NFL's second-leading rusher, sat out Wednesday to rest his sore toe and was limited Thursday. Henry, the Heisman Trophy winner, strained a calf muscle in pregame warmups last week in San Diego and had not practiced either Wednesday or Thursday.
Both Murray, Henry miss practice with injuries for Titans
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Neither DeMarco Murray nor rookie Derrick Henry practiced Wednesday, though Tennessee coach Mike Mularkey says they kept Murray out to rest the running back's sore toe.
Murray played in last week's 43-35 loss at the Chargers with the injury and Henry strained a calf in pregame warmups in San Diego. Mularkey says Henry looked better than anticipated and the Titans will see how much more Henry can do Thursday.