Mularkey praises 'one-two punch' of Murray, Henry

Thursday night embodied the Mike Mularkey fantasy.

The Tennessee Titans totaled 494 yards of offense in the 36-22 thrashing of the Jacksonville Jaguars, most since 2009. Of the nearly 500 yards, 214 came on the ground with DeMarco Murray gobbling up 123 yards and a touchdown on 21 totes and Derrick Henry earning 60 and a score on 16 carries.

Behind one of the best offensive lines in the NFL -- and fantastic blocking aid from tight end Anthony Fasano -- the Titans' running game is smashing through defenses. On Thursday night they bowled over a punchless Jaguars defense that wanted nothing to do with the physicality displayed by Nashville's team.

With Henry getting more carries, Mularkey's dreams of a punishing, powerful combination running over defenses are coming true.

"It's been impressive," the coach said when asked about Henry's performance on limited snaps. "It's to come off, not be the guy that he's been, and he does come in there and he's so effective from play one on, which is a good sign. It's just what you want, a one-two punch in the backfield."

Henry's performance could be the start of the rookie earning more carries, but this season has been about Murray's resurgence.

Looking like his 2014 self, Murray has more rushing yards (756) in eight games this year than he did all last season (702). His 4.7 yards per carry are up more than a yard per tote over last season. In Mularkey's north-south running scheme, Murray looks fresh, quick enough to get the edge when needed.

With Murray reborn as one of the best backs in the NFL, the temptation for Mularkey could be to ride his horse. Halfway through the season, Murray is on pace for 320 carries and 56 receptions. Just two years separated from a 449-touch season, asking the 28-year-old to touch the ball 376 times is tempting fate.

Murray should continue to get the majority of carries, but we expect to see Henry earn more than the 5.3 carries per game he averaged before Thursday night.

Mularkey has a big one-two punch. He should deploy it as the Titans run toward an AFC South title bid.

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