The Tennessee Titans’ trio of prolific playmakers is creeping up on a rare statistical feat.
Derrick Henry crossed over the 1,500-yard rushing mark during Sunday’s win over the Jacksonville Jaguars while A.J. Brown and Corey Davis — at 837 and 835 yards, respectively — are both within striking distance of 1,000-yard seasons.
Since making the move to Tennessee, the Titans have never employed a 1,500-yard rusher and two 1,000-yard receivers in the same season.
Asked what it would mean to set that mark, head coach Mike Vrabel and the players involved unsurprisingly downplayed the accomplishment.
Vrabel: “Somebody is going to have to gain yards and score touchdowns for you to be successful.”
Brown: “To be honest, it don’t really mean anything at this point. We’re trying to get wins, we’re trying to go to the playoffs. I’m just trying to answer the call when my number gets called to make plays. You get all these stats and stuff, they don’t matter. That’s my mindset about it.”
Henry: “Not really worried about stats. Stats are stats but we’re worried about winning. How can we help contribute to us winning a football game? Forget the stats.”
But quarterback Ryan Tannehill had a different perspective. After the 31-10 win on Sunday, he was asked what it meant to have playmakers all over the field in both the running and passing game.
“It’s huge. Like you said, we have weapons all over. We’ve had a bunch of guys all over the offense step up and make plays consistently for us so teams can’t really key in on one thing,” he said. “If they want to throw the kitchen sink at stopping Derrick, then we have guys on the outside that can make plays. If they want to sit back and try to cover, then obviously Derrick can make them pay on the inside. Having that combination of guys across the offense is key for us.”
The 1,500/1,000/1,000 trio might not mean anything specifically, but having multiple big-time playmakers is a reliable sign of an offensive juggernaut — especially for a franchise that has not always been explosive on that side of the ball.
Since arriving in Nashville, Titans receivers have put up just nine 1,000-yard seasons in 21 years — and four of those came from Derrick Mason. Last season, Brown became the first player to accumulate 1,000 yards since Delanie Walker in 2015 and the first wide receiver since Kendall Wright in 2013.
The Titans have historically had more success running the ball. Seventeen rushers have gone for 1,000 yards, with three previously crossing the 1,500-yard mark: Chris Johnson in 2009 (2,006), Henry last year (1,540) and Eddie George in 2000 (1,509). The only one of those rushers paired with even a single 1,000-yard receiver was Henry last year — on a team that ended up one half away from the Super Bowl.
Would the feat be just a fun stat or something more important? The numbers themselves don’t necessarily affect a team’s winning percentage but any team with three high-level playmakers is a threat to win a championship.