It’s third and goal from the Houston Texans‘ five-yard line, in overtime. Derrick Henry stands alone in the Tennessee Titans backfield, poised to take a direct snap. In a late panic, as Houston’s defense realizes that quarterback Ryan Tannehill is lined up as a receiver, defenders begin flooding into the box to protect their end zone.
They now know exactly what to expect, but it won’t matter.
Henry takes the snap, cuts to the left, and bulldozes his way into the end zone. Titans win.
Derrick Henry has made a near-perfect start to the 2020 season, leading the league in rushing with 588 yards in only five games. The second name on that list, Kansas City Chiefs rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire, has played an extra game and still trails him by some 83 yards.
The Titans running back led the NFL in rushing last season with 1,540 yards. This year, he’s on course for 1,881, as the former Heisman Trophy winner at Alabama looks to continue his prolific form. While his highlight real may be sensational, the following statistics so far this season place him in elite company:
The tiger-hair-tailed running back has been bullying defences in recent seasons. Last Sunday, the Texans defense struggled to contain him, as he rushed for 212 yards on 22 carries, averaging 9.6 yards per attempt. He was also effective in the receiving game, with two catches for 52 yards. His two touchdowns were also decisive in securing Tennessee’s win over the Houston Texans, as they remain undefeated.
Tennessee often looks to utilise its star running back late in games. So far his season, Henry is averaging a stupendous 7.5 yards per carry in the 4th quarter, through five games. A punishing back, Henry is most effective in the 4th quarter, exploiting tired defences.
“King Henry” is also a clutch performer the Titans. While trailing or winning by seven points or less in the fourth quarter, he has had 21 carries for 181 yards, averaging a remarkable 8.6 yards per carry. With his big play, home-run-hitting potential, Henry can often prove to be the difference between winning and losing. Last weekend was exemplary of this, with his 94-yard go-ahead run in the fourth quarter, and his game-winning touchdown in overtime.
Yards After Contact
Last season, Henry led the league with an incredible 1,268 yards after contact. So far this season, he leads the league once again with 365 yards after contact. It’s clear to see why Henry is such a difficult man to tackle, at 6’3″, 247 pounds, as his 13 broken tackles are second in the NFL.
On Sunday, Derrick Henry made NFL history by becoming the first running back to rush for 200 yards in a single game, in three successive seasons. Henry finds himself in elite company, as Adrian Peterson holds the current record for most 200-yard rushing games, with 6.
Since 2018, only seven times has a running back rushed for over 200 yards. On three of those occasions, Derrick Henry has been that running back. He also has the tied most amount of 100+ yard games in the NFL since 2019, with nine games.
As Derrick Henry continues to torment defences, these numbers assert his status as an elite runner. Potentially the best back in all of football. He’s showing no signs of slowing down, as “King Henry” looks to lead the undefeated Titans to further glory.