Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin called Titans running back Derrick Henry‘s athletic ability “really astounding” during a press conference last week and he knew that his team had to keep Henry from beating them if they were going to remain undefeated after facing Tennessee in Week 7.
Things got a bit dicey for the Steelers late in Sunday’s game and Henry scored a touchdown that cut Pittsburgh’s lead to three points in the fourth quarter, but Stephen Gostkowski missed a late field goal and the Steelers held on for a 27-24 victory. Henry had 20 carries for 75 yards overall, which was well below the 212 yards he had in Week 6 and the Steelers limited him to one yard or less on 10 of his touches in the game.
“We talked about the importance of minimizing him,” Tomlin said, via the team’s website. “And from that standpoint, it was similar, but we didn’t do anything that we don’t normally do. We played the defenses that we normally play. We just got to defeat blocks and make tackles and try to prevent him from falling forward. A tall task with a guy like him and particularly as we talked about from an attrition standpoint over the course of the game and you felt that. You felt him getting going, and that was troublesome. But that’s just the attributes that he brings. and they bring to play, so that’s why it was important that we got started early.”
Next weekend will bring another test of the Pittsburgh run defense as they’ll be in Baltimore for a matchup with a Ravens team that will be well rested coming off of their bye week.