Ryan Tannehill explains strategy behind bold Derrick Henry wildcat play that beat Texans
The Tennessee Titans needed an extra period to fend off the eager Houston Texans in a Week 6 encounter between the two teams. Sixth play of OT, third-and-goal from the Houston 5-yard line, and running back Derrick Henry was under center instead of quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
A wildcat play resulted in the former Alabama Crimson Tide surveying the floor before ultimately deciding to take it to the house and break the 36-all stalemate with a rushing drive. The Titans eventually rolled past the Texans on a 42-36 decision to preserve their unblemished 5-0 record.
Tannehill broke down the details of the pivotal play that lifted the Titans in crunchtime:
“That’s Arthur, man,” he said, referring to the team’s offensive coordinator in Arthur Smith. “I didn’t know when he’d call it, but we had it ready, and he picked the right time to call it.”
“Suddenly, Tannehill waves his right hand. You think, He’s signaling Henry, “I’m open over here!”
No. “I wanted to get one of their [defensive] guys out there on me,” the Titans’ QB said. To take a body that could help stuff Henry out of the middle of the field. Tannehill was trying to get the attention of the Texans, like, Hey, I’m open! Cover me! And safety Justin Reid came over. “If nobody walked out on me?” Tannehill said. “Maybe Derrick rips me a pass and we win that way. How incredible would that have been?”
The Titans’ QB1 had an impressive outing with 364 passing yards on 30-of-41 passing along with four passing touchdowns for his team. Henry also had a monster game with 212 rushing yards on 22 carries. He became the first running back in league history with 200-yard rushing games in three consecutive seasons after Sunday’s performance.
The win over their division rivals placed the Titans atop the AFC South with their 5-0 record while the Texans fell to a dismal 1-5 record and sat at the third spot of the same division. A battle of two undefeated teams will commence on October 25 as the Titans host the Pittsburgh Steelers with the two teams’ perfect records on the line.