NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – DeMarco Murray thought Tennessee was the right fit, and eight games into his Titans career, it looks like he was exactly right.
The 2014 NFL Offensive Player of the Year slumped to only 702 yards in 2015 when he jumped from Dallas to Philadelphia. After Chip Kelly was fired in Philly and was jettisoned to Tennessee for virtually nothing, the Titans and Eagles only swapped fourth round picks. Murray has meant everything to the Titans though.
Mike Mularkey’s “Exotic Smashmouth” offense is centered on Murray, and he has delivered in a big way.
In eight games, Murray has already topped 100 yards four times and is averaging 4.7 yards per carry. On Thursday night in the Titans rout of Jacksonville, Murray went for 123 yards on 21 carries and scored his sixth touchdown of the season.
That effort left him with 756 yards for the season. That’s already 54 more yards he had all of last season with the Eagles.
Murray has been politically correct when talking about the difficulties of last season, but it was evident crossing that milestone so early meant something.
“I say you go through things in life– good, bad or ugly– and you learn from it. Obviously, it’s not what I drew up last year, but it made me a better person, better player. Makes me more hungry, makes me love the game that much more, but it’s awesome to see the offensive line. those guys blocking well,” said Murray.
The line has blocked well and Mularkey has emphasized pride in staying committed to the run.
“We’re trying to establish the run in the game. It’s not always early. In some cases, it’s been last in these games, but we are going to establish it at some point,” explained Mularkey.
In the last four games, the Titans have rushed for at least 124 yards each game and are averaging 177 yards a game.
Murray has been at the center of that commitment and is on pace to top 1,500 yards and possibly be back in the conversation for the NFL’s top offensive honor.