In the hours after the Ravens had assembled the NFL’s scariest backfield, a 4-year-old clip resurfaced Tuesday on social media. In footage from the 2019 Pro Bowl, quarterback Lamar Jackson is on the sideline, urging his AFC teammates and coaches to oblige a simple request.

“Give it to Derrick!” he says. “Just give it to Derrick. We’ll ring it up.”

Nothing can get in Jackson’s way now. With the Ravens and Derrick Henry agreeing to a two-year, $16 million deal that will bring the four-time Pro Bowl running back to Baltimore, the league’s best rushing attack should be even more dynamic in 2024.

Henry’s addition is not a seamless fit, nor is his contract guaranteed to age well. But his partnership with Jackson should be one of the NFL’s most breathtaking. Here’s a look at how Henry could fare in Baltimore after eight productive seasons with the Tennessee Titans.

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Is Henry still an elite athlete?

Yes, he is still very much built like a tractor (or “Tractorcito,” if you prefer) with a turbocharged engine. His two fastest runs this season — a 69-yard run against the Jacksonville Jaguars (21.68 mph) and a 63-yard run against the Ravens (20.99 mph) — hit a higher top speed than any play by a Ravens ball-carrier this season, according to the NFL’s Next Gen Stats. Faster than running back Keaton Mitchell’s 40-yard touchdown run against the Seattle Seahawks (20.99 mph). Faster than Mitchell’s 39-yard score against the Cleveland Browns (20.92 mph).

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At a listed 6 feet, 3 inches, and weighing 247 pounds, Henry is also not easily taken down. He forced 57 missed tackles in the 2023 regular season, according to Pro Football Focus, fourth most in the NFL. In 2022, he forced 69 missed tackles, third most.

Why did Henry’s rushing average fall to a career low in 2023?

Because he didn’t have a lot of help. The Titans ranked 21st in ESPN’s run block win rate, down from 16th in 2022, and finished with PFF’s lowest-graded offensive line overall.

With an unstable quarterback situation (veteran incumbent Ryan Tannehill started eight games, and rookie Will Levis started nine) and a top-heavy receiving corps (wideout DeAndre Hopkins was the only Titan to finish with over 530 yards) defenses loaded the box and dared Henry (4.2 yards per carry) to beat them.

According to TruMedia, Henry ran into stacked fronts (at least eight defenders in the box) on 49.6% of his runs last season, the second-highest rate in the NFL among running backs with at least 100 carries. (Crowded boxes are nothing new for Henry, who actually saw them at a career-low rate in 2023.) He also ranked 44th in yards before contact per rush (0.85) among 49 qualifying running backs, the third-lowest rate of his career and a reflection of Tennessee’s shoddy running lanes.

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Still, Henry did not let many opportunities go to waste. Again, despite an NFL-leading 280 carries, he was one of the league’s more efficient runners. According to the NFL’s Next Gen Stats, Henry averaged 0.3 rushing yards over expected per carry, comfortably above the league average (0.1 yards) and his sixth straight year in plus territory. (Rushing yards over expected are determined by comparing actual production to the production predicted by several factors, notably field position, defensive alignment and player tracking data.)

How will Henry fit in the Ravens’ rushing offense?

That’s the biggest unknown in this arrangement. The NFL’s best players are scheme-proof, but Henry is leaving Tennessee’s traditionally pro-style attack for a spread-offense-centric infrastructure.

Over each of his first seven years with the Titans, under-center handoffs accounted for at least 70% of Henry’s carries, according to Sports Info Solutions. Last season, his under-center rate fell to a career-low 66.4% — and still Henry easily led the NFL in runs out of the look, which gives running backs a longer run-up to the line of scrimmage and can be used to more effectively sell play-action fakes.

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Under former offensive coordinator Greg Roman and now Todd Monken, the Jackson-led Ravens have run most, if not all, of the same concepts as Tennessee: a mix of gap and zone schemes. They’ve just rarely done so with their quarterback under center. According to TruMedia, the Ravens lined up in shotgun or pistol formations on an NFL-leading 91% of their plays over the past five years, where they could better optimize Jackson as a run threat. Their rate last season (83.8%) was a Jackson-era low — and still the fourth highest in the NFL.

Henry’s last two years in Tennessee were, if anything, a warmup for what likely awaits in Baltimore. He had 70 shotgun carries in 2022, then a career high, and averaged 5.2 yards per attempt, well above his under-center average (4.2 yards). Last season, he had 94 shotgun carries, another career high, and averaged 5.0 yards per carry, another marked improvement on his under-center efficiency (3.8 yards per carry).

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How will Henry fit in the Ravens’ passing offense?

Henry was typically an afterthought in the Titans’ passing attack. At his size, he’s never been a great route runner, and most of his targets have come on screens or check-downs. Excluding Henry’s injury-shortened 2021 season, he averaged 186.3 receiving yards per season and 11.7 yards per game in Tennessee.

In Baltimore, Henry’s role probably won’t change much. Justice Hill figures to be the Ravens’ most reliable option on passing downs, and Mitchell, when healthy, has game-changing acceleration. But Henry’s success in the Titans’ screen game last season suggests he could help the Ravens there, too. Henry had a career-high 18 catches on screen passes in 2023, according to SIS, and finished with 166 yards (9.2 per catch).

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In his last season at Georgia, Monken oversaw one of the NCAA’s most effective screen passing attacks, but he struggled to port that success over to the NFL. Jackson attempted a career-high 21 screen passes to running backs last year, completing 20 for just 133 yards (6.7 per catch).

Henry’s pass protection, meanwhile, has been criticized throughout his career, but he’s coming off two of his best seasons as a blocker. In 2022, he allowed one sack and four pressures in 55 opportunities, according to PFF. Last year, he gave up just one pressure, a sack, in 46 opportunities.

How will Lamar Jackson help Henry?

Jackson has played with running backs like Henry before. Gus Edwards, in his Ravens prime, offered an impressive, if incomplete, imitation of Henry’s run-you-over ability.

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But Henry has never played with a quarterback like Jackson before. At least, not for very long. The closest analog in Tennessee might’ve been Malik Willis, a third-round pick in 2022 who rushed for over 1,800 yards in his two years at Liberty. Henry shared the field with Willis infrequently over the past two seasons, but their rushing success hints at how valuable a quarterback with Jackson’s gravitational pull could be.

In the 78 carries Henry had with Willis on the field, he averaged 6.0 yards per carry, with 1.06 yards before contact per rush and 4.90 yards after contact, according to TruMedia. His rushing success rate was 43.6%, which would’ve ranked among the NFL’s best in 2023.

In the 551 carries Henry had with Willis off the field over the past two seasons, he averaged 4.1 yards per carry, with 0.78 yards before contact per rush and 3.28 yards after contact. His rushing success rate was 34.5%, which would’ve ranked below average.

Alongside mobile quarterbacks, running backs almost always have better runways. The last thing defenses will want to give Henry is more room for takeoff, but Jackson’s presence changes the math of how defenses manage gaps and take on blocks. Since he became a full-time starter in 2019, no team has averaged more yards before contact per carry than the Ravens when Jackson’s on the field (2.31). No one even comes close; the runner-up Arizona Cardinals have averaged 2.0 yards before contact in that span, according to TruMedia.

Dual-threat quarterbacks also broaden the menu of play calls against run defenses. Over his Titans career, Henry never finished a season with more than 35 carries on run-pass-option plays or 14 carries on read-option plays, both of which probe fronts left vulnerable by overaggressiveness or limited numbers. His workload was more traditional, one planned handoff after another.

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In Baltimore, Henry should find more exotic rushing opportunities in abundance. Edwards and Hill combined for 77 read-option and RPO runs last season, and that was in an offense that was one of the NFL’s most pass-happy.

However Monken devises his game plans next season, Jackson and Henry will give him options and defenses headaches. When the Ravens line up in “12″ personnel, with two wide receivers, two tight ends and one running back, will defenses match with three linebackers, more concerned about stopping Henry than matching up athletically with Mark Andrews and Isaiah Likely in space? When the Ravens line up in 11 personnel, with three wide receivers, one tight end and one running back, will defenses be willing to play with light boxes up front, preferring to crowd out wide receivers Zay Flowers and Rashod Bateman downfield?

The Ravens have months to figure that out. First they must rebuild their offensive line, replenish their wide receiver room and get the offense back together with Jackson. Then they can figure out how wild they’d like to run.

Jonas Shaffer is a Ravens beat writer for The Baltimore Banner. He previously covered the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun. Shaffer graduated from the University of Maryland and grew up in Silver Spring.

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