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Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22). (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire)
October 7th, 2021
Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry is no stranger to shattering records.
Back in high school, he set the national mark for career rushing yards while playing with the Yulee Hornets, and went on to break Herschel Walker's single-season rushing record in the SEC as a member of the Alabama Crimson Tide.
His junior season at Alabama, Henry ran for 2,219 yards and 28 touchdowns, the same year he won the Heisman Trophy and a national championship.
The following year, the 6'3", 247-pounder was drafted by Tennessee in the second round, but it wasn't until 2018 that Henry got his chance to shine in the Titans' backfield.
Since then, the bulldozing back has been nothing short of spectacular. In 2020, he collected the NFL Offensive Player of the Year award, after he ran for more than 2,000 yards and led the league in rushing in consecutive seasons.
Derrick Henry: NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year 🏆PFF's highest-graded RB (91.8) and the newest member of the 2K club 👑 pic.twitter.com/AQqZ72w0Vh— PFF (@PFF) February 7, 2021
Derrick Henry: NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year 🏆PFF's highest-graded RB (91.8) and the newest member of the 2K club 👑 pic.twitter.com/AQqZ72w0Vh
Henry's 2021 season is already off to another majestic start, as he continues to break records and reach new milestones.
Let's look back on his top 10 rushing performances of his career, so far, as we honor the league's best back, known simply as "King Henry."
Rushing yards: 178 Number of carries: 27Rushing touchdowns: 3
It may be Henry's lowest rushing total of his top 10 performances, but it came with a number of NFL records.
In a 45-26 victory against Tennessee's AFC South rival, Indianapolis, Henry recorded his third consecutive 100-yard game and seventh of the season. He also tallied his eighth straight 100-yard outing on the road, which tied him with running back Chris Johnson for the second-longest streak since the 1970 merger. Hall of Famer Barry Sanders' 10 consecutive road games is the record.
Henry also recorded his 20th consecutive game with at least 18 carries, which marked the NFL's second-longest streak since 1948.
Rushing yards: 182Number of carries: 34Rushing touchdowns: 1
At the conclusion of the 2019 season, Henry played spoiler in Tom Brady's final game as a New England Patriot.
In the Tennessee Titans 20-13 victory over the New England Patriots in the AFC Wild Card game, Titans’ running back Derrick Henry accounted for 73.6% of the Titans’ total offense 😳 (Elias Sports Bureau). #NFLWildCard #TitansvsPatriots pic.twitter.com/BGbEuqDT8p— Mines Sports Analytics (@MinesAnalytics) January 5, 2020
In the Tennessee Titans 20-13 victory over the New England Patriots in the AFC Wild Card game, Titans’ running back Derrick Henry accounted for 73.6% of the Titans’ total offense 😳 (Elias Sports Bureau). #NFLWildCard #TitansvsPatriots pic.twitter.com/BGbEuqDT8p
In a shocking 20-13 Wild Card win, Henry carried the sixth-seeded Titans past the No. 3 seed Patriots by rushing for 182 yards and a touchdown against the NFL's top-ranked defense.
Henry's rushing total was the most against a Bill Belichick-coached Patriots team in the postseason.
Rushing yards: 182Number of carries: 35Rushing touchdowns: 3
Early in the 2021 season, Henry made more history in a 33-30 overtime win against Seattle.
The bruising back ran for 182 yards — the most surrendered by Seattle's defense during the Pete Carroll era — and two fourth-quarter scores to help Tennessee rally from a 14-point deficit to force overtime.
Henry also added a career-high six catches for 55 yards and posted his fourth career game with at least 150 rushing yards and three or more touchdowns. Only Sanders (six), Jim Brown (six), and LaDainian Tomlinson (five) have more.
Rushing yards: 188Number of carries: 23Rushing touchdowns: 2
Henry spoiled another quarterback's day in 2019, when Patrick Mahomes made his return from injury but suffered his third and final loss as a starter that season.
In Tennessee's 35-32 win over that year's eventual Super Bowl champion, Henry rushed for 188 yards and two scores, including a 68-yard touchdown.
Rushing yards: 195 Number of carries: 30Rushing touchdowns: 0
Against 2019 unanimous MVP Lamar Jackson, Henry ruined the end to the quarterback's special season, as he ran for 195 yards in a 28-12 upset victory against the top-seeded Baltimore Ravens in the 2019 Divisional Round.
DERRICK HENRY JUMP PASS TOUCHDOWN!pic.twitter.com/kHEMpdcK8b— The Sporting News (@sportingnews) January 12, 2020
DERRICK HENRY JUMP PASS TOUCHDOWN!pic.twitter.com/kHEMpdcK8b
In addition to his rushing output, Henry threw a three-yard touchdown to Corey Davis. His touchdown pass was the first by a running back in the playoffs since 1987.
Henry also became the first player with two games of 175 rushing yards or more in the same postseason and set the record for most yards rushing (561) through a player's first four playoff games.
Rushing yards: 211 Number of carries: 32Rushing touchdowns: 3
In the finale of the 2019 season, Henry racked up a season-high 211 yards and three scores to lift the Titans to a 35-14, playoff-clinching win against Houston.
In the process, Henry joined Earl Campbell and LenDale White as the only players in franchise history to run for 15 or more touchdowns in a season.
With 1,540 rushing yards for the year, Henry earned the NFL's rushing title — the first Titan to do so since Chris Johnson had 2,006 yards in 2009.
Henry is also the first Heisman winner to lead the NFL in rushing since Ricky Williams in 2002.
Rushing yards: 212Number of carries: 22Rushing touchdowns: 2
In this historic Week 6 matchup, Henry contributed 212 rushing yards and became the fourth player in NFL history with three career games with at least 200 yards and two rushing scores. Brown, Sanders, and Tomlinson are the others.
The Titans also accumulated a franchise-record 601 yards of total offense and, for the first time, had a 300-yard passer (Ryan Tannehill), 200-yard rusher, and 100-yard pass-catcher (Anthony Firkser) in a single game.
Rushing yards: 215Number of carries: 26Rushing touchdowns: 2
Henry broke the aforementioned record he held with Brown, Sanders, and Tomlinson toward the end of the 2020 season.
In a 31-10 win over Jacksonville, Henry posted his fourth career game with at least 200 yards and two rushing scores.
Most rushing yards in Week 14:🔹 Derrick Henry - 215🔹 Cam Akers - 171🔹 Jonathan Taylor - 150🔹 Derrick Henry AFTER contact - 132 pic.twitter.com/Q4y9qA41ya— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) December 14, 2020
Most rushing yards in Week 14:🔹 Derrick Henry - 215🔹 Cam Akers - 171🔹 Jonathan Taylor - 150🔹 Derrick Henry AFTER contact - 132 pic.twitter.com/Q4y9qA41ya
He also accomplished his ninth consecutive 100-yard rushing performance in a road game to break the tie he held with Johnson.
Henry fell short of matching Sanders' record of 10 games, as Henry ran for 98 yards on the road in Green Bay in Week 16.
Rushing yards: 238Number of carries: 17 Rushing touchdowns: 4
While the 2020 season featured many of Henry's top rushing performances, his second-highest single-game yardage occurred in his third year in the league.
Against AFC South member Jacksonville, Henry ran for a career-high 14 yards per carry, as he piled up 238 yards on the ground on only 17 attempts.
Henry also scored four times in the game, including on a 99-yard run that tied Tony Dorsett's record set in 1983.
Rushing yards: 250Number of carries: 34Rushing touchdowns: 2
Henry's best performance to date is a 250-yard outburst in the final week of the 2020 season.
Those 250 yards tied Spec Sanders (1947) and O.J. Simpson (1973) for the 13th most rushing yards in a single game and pushed Henry's season total to 2,027 yards.
The Titans running back became the eighth 2,000-yard rusher in NFL history and secured his second straight rushing title.
Prior to Henry, the most recent player to lead the league in rushing yards in back-to-back seasons was Tomlinson in 2006 and 2007.
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