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PlayAction newsletter Oct. 14, 2021: Bills defense prepares for big, bad Derrick Henry

PlayAction newsletter Oct. 14, 2021: Bills defense prepares for big, bad Derrick Henry

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Oct. 14, 2021 

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Look for single safety vs. Titans

The presence of the toughest, best running back in the NFL will be the focus of the Buffalo Bills’ defense this week as it prepares for Monday night’s game against the Tennessee Titans.

The Titans are led by 6-foot-3, 247-pound Derrick Henry, who already is on pace for a record number of carries in a single season.

What does that mean for the Bills’ defense? More people need to be involved in defending the run.

How does the presence of the best running back in the NFL help Tennessee quarterback Ryan Tannehill? Here's a look at why the threat of Derrick Henry allows the Titans QB to see a lot of similar coverages each week.


Defenses can’t afford to play two safeties deep too often because they need the extra defender to try to stop Henry. He's averaging 28.4 carries a game through five games.

Last year, he led the NFL by carrying 378 times, an average of 23.6 a game. It was the most carries by any NFL back in the last 12 years.


  • The Bills’ 172 points is the most in team history after five games, ahead of the 165 scored in the 1964 seasons. Buffalo has scored 35 or more points in four consecutive games and in seven of the last eight games. Read more
  • Against Kansas City, the Bills sat back with two deep safeties virtually the entire game and still were able to stop the run. In the first three quarters, Chiefs running backs combined for just 30 yards on 12 carries, a 2.5-yard average. Read more
  • Kansas City’s defense turned up the blitzes out of desperation in the second half. Josh Allen made them pay on the key play that kept alive the scoring drive that sealed the victory. Read more

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