Is Derrick Henry the new Beast Mode? Drawing similarities with Marshawn Lynch

<a href='' target='_blank' rel='noopener noreferrer'>Derrick Henry</a> Marshawn Lynch
Derrick Henry Marshawn Lynch
Ian Van Roy

Early in a game against the Detroit Lions last year, Derrick Henry received a handoff and cut left. He turned the corner and saw a defender between him and a first down. The Titans star then proceeded to reach out with his hand and practically threw the defender out of the way before crossing the yellow line.

The play felt like a reincarnation of Marshawn Lynch. It was as if someone had thrown a Titans' uniform on Marshawn Lynch and said, "Go nuts."

Of course, in select moments, both running backs resemble each other. But do they share the same similarities in other aspects of their game? How do their stats line up?

Is Derrick Henry really the new Beast Mode?

Derrick Henry vs Marshawn Lynch

Marshawn Lynch's exploits

Marshawn Lynch is most fondly remembered as a member of the Seattle Seahawks. However, his first stint in the NFL was with the Buffalo Bills in 2007. He did not land with the Seahawks until 2010.

From 2010 through 2014, Lynch was one of the top running backs in the NFL. It was early in this stint that he earned the nickname "Beast Mode."

In 2010, the Seattle Seahawks made the playoffs after a 7-9 season. The main reason for the Seahawks picking up even seven wins was Marshawn Lynch. Few had the Seattle Seahawks winning their first playoff game.

However, late in the game, the Seahawks were winning by a score of 34-30 with only a few minutes to play.

The Seahawks ran the ball with Marshawn Lynch in an effort to get easy first downs to run out the clock. They ended up getting one of the most famous runs of all time.

From their own 32-yard line, Lynch ran a "halfback dive" through the middle of the New Orleans Saints defense for a touchdown, sealing the game. He broke six tackles on the way to the endzone.

Over the next four seasons, Marshawn Lynch's worst season was in 2011 when he earned 1,200 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. His best season was in 2014 when he earned 13 rushing touchdowns and 1306 rushing yards.

Derrick Henry

Derrick Henry was drafted in 2016. He started relatively slow, earning only 490 yards in 2016 and 744 yards in 2017. In 2018, he earned 1,059 yards and 12 touchdowns. In 2019, those numbers went up to 1,540 yards and 16 rushing touchdowns.

Most recently, in 2020, Derrick Henry rushed for 2,027 yards and 17 touchdowns.


Purely from a purely statistical standpoint, Derrick Henry is already at Marshawn Lynch's level. Some may argue that he has surpassed Lynch's numerical achievements even. However, Derrick Henry has a long way to go before he can take over Lynch's crown.

How Henry trumps Lynch

Marshawn Lynch's period of dominance reached from the end of the 2010 season until the end of the 2014 season. His absolute peak lasted four seasons. Derrick Henry, meanwhile, is sitting on three seasons of domination.

Marshawn Lynch
Marshawn Lynch

He could still have a down season, which would make the conclusion of this argument a bit clearer. That said, another solid season of at least 1,000 yards will see Derrick Henry solidify his status as *the* elite running back in recent years, perhaps even capture that Beast Mode crown.

Until then, Lynch will take care of his chickens, while Henry will return to rampaging against NFL defenses.

Edited by Colin D'Cunha
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