Giants’ monumental task in Game 1: Slowing down Derrick Henry

Derrick is taller and heavier than all except three members of the Henry Giants’ opening defense.

There’s nothing like the challenge of facing the dominant force running behind your generation in today’s near-first NFL, which might explain why Giants cornerback Adori ‘Jackson—Henry’s former Tennessee Titans teammate—has won a Crossed out the game for apt comparison.

“He’s going to do what he does,” Jackson said. “LeBron James is going to be LeBron James: You might be able to calm him down for like one, two, three quarters, but at the end of the day he’s still going to get his points. Just put 11 caps on the ball. [against Henry] And try to limit it as much as you can. But, I mean, he’s top of the league. ,

Defensive coordinator Vink Martindale stuck to football for his comparisons – but went back nearly 60 years to reveal what awaits on Sunday when the Giants tour the Titans.

“He’s like our modern day Jim Brown, I guess,” Martindale said. “He’s very different when he has the ball in his hands, so it’s a challenge every time he touches it.”

The Giants would like to slow down the return of Derrick Henry in Game 1 of his season.

The 6-foot-3, 247-pound Henry has averaged 5 yards on 900 carries over the past three seasons, winning back-to-back rushing titles with 1,540 yards in 2019 and 2,027 in 2020. Before a broken bone in his right leg caused him to miss the final nine games of the 2021 regular season, Henry was so impressive that he had more rushing yards (587 of his 783) after contact, than any There were more total running yards over the course of six weeks than the other player.

“There’s a reason they call Derrick Henry ‘The King,'” Martindale said. “Because he’s on the Iron Throne, for all you Game of Thrones fans out there.”

A whole series of “Derrick Henry Stiff Arm” GIFs are live on social media for those interested in watching hapless defensive backs fly to the ground. Punishing on 300-pounders isn’t that easy.

Defensive lineman Leonard Williams told The Post, “If you look at the tapes on Derrick Henry, he definitely has a big back, but you don’t see him a big back until he gets to space. ” “When he’s on the line of scuffle, he’s like most backs. When he goes to space, he tries to punish the DB, hard-handed and placing his body on the people who hit him. Very young. Our job as a defensive lineman is not to let him reach the second level.”

Easier said than done because Henry is not moving through the line. He is also a home run hitter with an NFL-best nine touchdown runs of at least 50 yards since 2018.

Brian Daboli
Dabol is skeptical of any way to stop Henry altogether.
Charles Weinzelberg / New York Po

“One of the best backs of all time,” Williams said. “He’s always the men’s team that will circle and try to prepare, and he still has over 100 running games all the time.”

In four career regular-season or playoff games against defending Martindale – when he was with the Ravens, before coming to the Giants – Henry has 83 times for 389 yards and a touchdown, including the AFC’s No. Including for a 195-yard display. 1st seed in the 2019 playoffs. That’s the risk of a blitz-happy scheme.

“It can certainly hurt a team that is too banged up if it goes past the first level of defense because there is no one behind to bring it down,” Williams said.

Two of the Giants’ 10 highest-paid players make defensive tackles (Williams and Dexter Lawrence). A defense made in the middle by former general manager Dave Gettleman to halt the run has left the third team following the surprise release of 100-tackle machine Blake Martinez, who was started as linebacker until last week. Starting linebackers Kayvan Thibodaux and Aziz Ozulari are both unlikely to play.

Bad time with Henry on deck.

“Coach-to-player and player-to-player, a D-lineman respects another D-lineman who can stop the run,” Williams said. “It may not be the case for fans because they like to watch pretty sacks, but we know it takes a lot to stop the run.”

So, is there any way to slow Henry down?

“Yeah, if he’s not in the game,” quipped head coach Brian Dabol. “We have to have all hands on deck and do the best we can to deal with football and gangs. You see him in plays too, there can be three or four people on him, and somehow he gets out of it. Is. “

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