Derrick Henry's monster game against Deshaun Watson's stubborn Houston Texans (250 yards, 7.4 YPC and 2 TD's) means he now becomes the first 2,000-yard triple crown winner -- leading the NFL in carries, yards and TDs -- since Simpson, who did it all the way back in 1973.
The Complete Legacy Of Derrick Henry
Derrick Henry In High School
Derrick Henry now has one of the most complete resumes in the history of his position. As a 15 year old freshman at Yule High School, Derrick Henry rushed for over 2,600 yards on the ground and matched that impressive tally with 26 touchdowns on the ground.
Derrick Henry didn't tail these numbers against random scrubs who had no chance of making the NFL; the state of Florida is known as an NFL conveyer belt with many stars hailing from there and Henry dominated the state.
At the time of Henry's graduation he was considered the number one overall prospect in the country. His senior year stats of 462 carries in 13 games for over 4,261 yards and 55 touchdowns are a testament to his dominant High School play.
Derrick Henry In College
The decline of both Florida teams was in full effect as Henry committed to Alabama to go develop under the eye of Nick Saban and within the dominant Crimson Tide environment.
Henry played sparingly his freshman year, got more involved his 2nd year sharing a split backfield with T.J Yeldon before emerging as a Heisman favorite after a dominant two thousand yard season in his 3rd year at Bama when Yeldon had left for the NFL.
Henry secured the Heisman trophy, a host of records capped off with strong performances in major Bama games and a college National Championship. With his stock at an all time high Derrick Henry declared for the NFL draft.
The Waiting Game
Going into 2016 Derrick Henry begun his career backing up former first team all pro running back Demarco Murray who had something to prove to the rest of the NFL after the Dallas Cowboys choose not to extend him and the Philadelphia Eagles who had signed him to a 5 year, $42 million deal traded him to the Tennessee Titans for a fourth round pick. Murray was highly motivated going into the season and posted a tremendous late career prime year (over 1,200 yards on the ground to go with 9 scores).
Derrick Henry was seen more as a complimentary back as Murray took center stage as the teams lead back. Murray couldn't continue this late career peak however in 2017 and his total rush yardage dipped 51% in his second season as a Tennessee Titans.
Henry begun to emerge as the franchise running back this season as the team begun performing better with him on the field rather than Murray. Henry built on this with his first 1,000-yard season the next year in 2018 and as the team transitioned from Marcus Mariota to Ryan Tannehill, Derrick Henry was ready to emerge as one of the league's best back.
The Breakout Years
The Tennessee Titans are committed to running the ball and even at their worst were still a league average rushing unit. Introducing prime Derrick Henry to a franchise with this run first mentality already established was always going to be a major problem for the rest of the NFL.
Derrick Henry started his career slow but rushed for more yards in his 4th season than he did in his first 2 years in the NFL. Derrick Henry is famous for peaking up form as the season goes on shows that form trend on his career chart as well. Over the last 2 years Derrick Henry has been his most productive;
3,567 Rushing Yards.
Derrick Henry Playoff Run 2019;
New England Patriots; 182 Rushing Yards.
Baltimore Ravens; 195 Rushing Yards.
Kansas City Chiefs; 69 Rushing Yards
Derrick Henry put up one of the most dominant running back post seasons in a long time and the season after went on to rush for over two thousand yards. Whatever happens from this season won't change the fact Derrick Henry has put together one of the most complete 12 year career spans, covering multiple competition levels and dominating at every level. We don't know what's next as Henry's late career peaks always coincide with a Championship.
The Titans hit a snag last season falling behind the Chiefs and having to abandon the run to keep up with Kansas City's offense. The Titans need to keep themselves in games but their defense holds up as well as Paper Mache as the Texan game recently proved.
No matter whether the Tennessee Titans win a championship or not Derrick Henry's legacy has been secured with this two thousand yard season. Henry is this generations Earl Campbell. Bigger, stronger but also somehow faster than everyone else on the field. A stubborn work horse that allows the franchise to turn games where they are overmatched into slugfests and at least giving themselves a chance to emerge victorious. No matter what happens from this point on Derrick Henry is an all time back.Published 05 Jan 2021, 12:39 IST