Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry is becoming the most reliable highlight producer in the NFL. Every week, it seems, the Pro Bowl performer does something incredible.
Twice in the span of six days, Henry helped the Titans remain undefeated (5-0) while doing something extra special to give his team a good chance at headlining that night's sports recap shows.
On Tuesday, the Titans routed the previously unbeaten Buffalo Bills in a Week 5 home game that had to be postponed due to positive COVID-19 tests among Titans players and staff. Henry carried the ball 19 times for just 57 yards in Tennessee's 42-16 victory. But he did score two touchdowns, and on one carry Henry stiff-armed Buffalo cornerback Josh Norman from Nashville all the way to Memphis.
The Titans then had to turn around and play again on Sunday, against the Houston Texans for a Week 6 matchup between AFC South rivals.
Henry had much more than one standout highlight in Tennessee's 42-36 overtime victory. He piled up 212 yards on 22 carries, 52 yards on two catches, and two rushing touchdowns.
Henry's effort against the Texans included a 94-yard touchdown run.
According to NFL Media Research, Henry became the second player in NFL history with multiple games of at least 200 rushing yards and two rushing TD's against the same opponent. (Henry had 211 yards and three scores in a game against Houston last year.)
As a team, the Titans set a franchise record with 601 yards of total offense in OT victory. Henry, of course, scored the winning TD in the extra period on a 5-yard run.
Henry becomes 'King' for the Tennessee Titans
After winning the Heisman Trophy and a national championship at the University of Alabama, Henry was a second-round draft pick of the Titans in the 2016 NFL Draft.
His first two seasons weren't much to write home about, but in Year 3, Henry topped 1,000 yards for the first time (1,059) and scored 12 touchdowns on the ground. He also tied an NFL record with a 99-yard touchdown run.
Then, last season, Henry officially became a superstar.
He led the NFL in rushing yards (1,540) and touchdowns (16). He made a late-season push for league MVP, and if voters for the award were allowed to include playoff games in their decision, Henry very well may have unseated Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, who ultimately won MVP in a unanimous vote.
In Tennessee's wild-card round victory over New England, Henry ran for 182 yards and a touchdown as the Titans upset Tom Brady's Patriots. In the divisional round, Henry ran for 195 yards as the Titans upset Jackson's Ravens.
The Titans' run was stopped by the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship game, but their franchise running back had established himself as "King Henry." In the offseason, the Titans signed Henry to a four-year, $50 million contract extension.
Henry is in this season's MVP race
Through the first few weeks of this season, it seemed Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson had the league MVP on lock.
Don't count out Derrick Henry, however.
Henry's Titans are 5-0, just like Wilson's Seahawks. Henry is leading the league in rushing with 588 yards.
Week 7 could be a turning point. The Titans face the also-unbeaten Pittsburgh Steelers, while the Seahawks face the suddenly-hot Arizona Cardinals.
Should Henry has a big game, the Titans win, and Wilson and the Seahawks don't impress, the MVP narrative could begin to change.
If nothing else, you can bet on Henry at least producing something for the highlight reel.Published 20 Oct 2020, 09:09 IST