Be Like Derrick Henry and the Titans

If you’re a fan of the NFL, you’ve been LOVING the last few weekends of playoff football.  We’ve seen some truly wild games and upsets.  One of the best, if not THE best, story in the league right now is the amazing stretch the Tennessee Titans are currently riding.

The Titans clawed their way into the playoffs by turning around a potentially lost season after 6 weeks.  They were 2-4 and needed a change of pace. They replaced Marcus Mariota with Ryan Tannehill and started utilizing Derrick Henry more.

Fast forward to Week 17.  The Titans needed to beat their division rival Houston Texans to secure the 6th and final playoff spot in the AFC.  They took care of business and won 35-14 in impressive fashion.

In the Wild Card round, they drew a seemingly rough draw having to go to Foxborough to play the New England Patriots.  Anybody who has followed football for the last 20 years knows that going into Foxborough in the playoffs, the likelihood of coming out alive is slim.

Didn’t matter to the Titans.  Derrick Henry ran all over the Patriots and they walked out of New England with a 20-13 victory.  Onto the Divisional round!

A matchup with the #1 seed Baltimore Ravens, in Baltimore, was next.  Again, they were huge underdogs and seemingly didn’t stand a chance.  The Ravens had been the best team in football all year long.

Didn’t matter to the Titans.  Derrick Henry AGAIN ran all over the Ravens and they walked out of Baltimore with a 28-12 victory.  Onto the AFC Championship Game!

We don’t know what the AFC Championship game versus the Chiefs will bring, but my guess is they’re going to feature a HEAVY dose of Derrick Henry and stick to the game plan.

So how have the Titans pulled off these last three wins, and turned their season around?  By having a clear-cut game plan and not deviating from it.  They’ve executed their game plan to perfection the last 3 weeks.  That game plan is to give Derrick Henry, the best running back in football, the ball as many times as possible and play tough defense.

Over the last three games, going back to Week 17, here are the stat lines for Derrick Henry:

  • Week 17: 32 rushes, 211 yards, 3 TD
  • Wild Card round: 34 rushes, 182 yards, 1 TD
  • Divisional round: 30 rushes, 195 yards

The Tennessee Titans know their strength, and they’ve played right into it all year long with great success.

We should all take notes.  When it comes to having a game plan with our finances, sticking to that game plan and being consistent is one of the most important things we can do.

Playing tough defense and running the ball 30 times a game isn’t the most exciting, high octane game plan, but it works.

The same can be said for your financial plan.  Sure, investing in IPO’s, swinging for the fences, trying to time the market to win big are more exciting than diligently saving money, increasing your savings rate, and living below your means, but it’s the latter that will get you to where you want to go.

Often, the most boring aspects of finance (and football) are the ones that move the needle the most.  It’s important to remember that when you think your investments “aren’t moving fast enough”.

It’s funny how every year we seem to get caught up in the most exciting players like Lamar Jackson, but if you look back at teams winning the Super Bowl – it’s usually the ones who execute on the “boring” stuff like offensive and defensive lines, running the football, and playing tough defense that end up winning it all.

The same can be said for finance.  The ones who execute on the “boring” stuff like saving more money every year will usually win.

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