Once upon a time in the NFL Draft, Derrick Henry was a big running back who was considered to be a surefire future star. He was a consensus All-American who was the lead back for the Vols during their run to the SEC title game. But, at the end of the 2017 season, Henry was taken 94th overall in the NFL Draft by the Titans.
The Titans have one of the most talented, but under-performing running backs in the NFL. The 25-year-old has led the Titans in rushing yards each year since entering the league, and this year is no different, capping off an impressive rookie season with 1,287 yards.
In his fifth season in the NFL, Titans running back Derrick Henry is primed to improve upon his 2017 numbers. Henry was one of the league’s most productive backs in the red zone last season, leading all running backs with 11 rushing touchdowns, and finished fifth in the NFL in rushing yards after contact per carry (4.52) and yards after contact per attempt (1.9). The Titans’ success in the red zone—which led the NFL in scoring in 2017—is in large part what led to them making the playoffs in 2017.
Derrick Henry is the NFL’s most physically dominant running back today. For the last three seasons, the Tennessee Titans’ star has been tearing apart opposition defenses. Despite a heavy schedule, King Henry shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. In the 2021 NFL season, he has a real chance to create more history.
Back-to-back league rushing championships have been earned by Derrick Henry.
Derrick Henry has destroyed defenses for three consecutive seasons after a rocky start in the NFL. In 2018, he ran for 1,059 yards and 12 touchdowns. In 2019, he ran the ball 303 times, which was a considerable increase over the previous year. During the 2019 season, the Alabama product ran for 1,540 yards and 16 touchdowns. He ended the season with the most running yards and touchdowns in the league.
In the 2020 season, the Titans provided Henry the most playing time of his career. He rushed for 2,027 yards and 17 touchdowns on 378 carries. He won the rushing championship for the second time in a row by a large margin.
In each of the previous two seasons, the Yulee, Florida native led the NFL in rushing attempts. In 2020, he tied for 19th place on the all-time single-season rushing attempts record with 378 carries.
Given the typical shelf life of NFL running backs, there have been some worries regarding Henry’s ability to endure as a workhorse back. The 6-foot-3, 247-pound 2020 AP Offensive Player of the Year is a force to be reckoned with. He works hard in the offseason, and it shows because despite his heavy schedule, he hasn’t worn out.
Derrick Henry will continue to play for the Titans with their new style.
Wesley Hitt/Getty ImagesTennessee Titans QB Ryan Tannehill passes the ball off to Derrick Henry.
The Tennessee Titans will be without former offensive coordinator Arthur Smith for the 2021 season, as he has accepted a head coaching position with the Atlanta Falcons. Things shouldn’t alter too much, however, since the squad was elevated from inside. Todd Downing, the tight ends coach, will now be the offensive coordinator at Tennessee.
The front management acquired All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones from the Falcons after losing key offensive assets like Jonnu Smith and Corey Davis. The Titans have an explosive receiving combination in Jones and third-year rising sensation A.J. Brown.
Some believe that adding another great wideout will harm Henry’s prospects of winning another rushing championship. It should, on the contrary, enhance his prospects. Defenses can no longer stack the box to stop Henry with two deadly weapons on the outside. Ryan Tannehill is capable of completely destroying any team that does so.
It will be fascinating to watch how other teams try to shut down the Titans’ attack. Defenses will be kept honest by the presence of two genuine big-play receiving threats. It should provide King Henry with even more opportunities to flee.
During the 2020 season, head coach Mike Vrabel donned a mask that said, “Please throw the ball to Derrick Henry.” That mantra is likely to be repeated in 2021.
Which Titans players pose the greatest danger to a third straight title?
Henry and Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook were separated by 470 yards in the 2020 NFL rushing championship race. Nick Chubb of the Cleveland Browns, on the other hand, ran for 1,494 yards in 2019, edging out the Titans’ star.
Looking forward to the 2021 season, there are a number of strong contenders for King Henry’s dethronement. Cook has finished in the top ten in each of the last two seasons, totaling 29 touchdowns in the process. Even during his tenure with the Seminoles, the former Florida State star has lost considerable time due to injuries. Cook has as strong a shot as anybody if he can remain healthy.
Chubb is the top running back who most closely resembles Henry’s game. In the receiving game, he doesn’t have much to give. Despite this, Chubb is a strong runner who specializes at breaking tackles and dropping the boom on opponents. He’ll also have a lot of work to do. The presence of Kareem Hunt, who will also receive lots of plays, is the main disincentive in Chubb’s situation.
Christian McCaffrey, one of the most explosive players at the position, is returning to the Carolina Panthers. In 2019, he finished third in rushing. There will be worry about another player who has dealt with injuries in the past. When he’s healthy, he’ll still get the majority of the attention. Given his participation in the passing game, McCaffrey may be a better chance to lead the NFL in all-purpose yards.
Derrick Henry will not be fighting for touches and has already proved to be a durable player. With more touches, many athletes tire out, particularly as the season progresses. However, Henry improves, and here is where he gains ground.
In 2021, the Titans running back should be the favorite to lead the league in rushing once again.
Pro Football Reference provided the statistics.
Nick Chubb Goes Head-to-Head With Derrick Henry in Epic Herculean Strength feat
After the Titans’ Week 8 loss to the Colts, Derrick Henry became the first player in NFL history to lead the league in rushing for three consecutive seasons. At the end of the game, Henry had rushed for over 150 yards, giving him 5,813 yards for his career. Only Edgerrin James has more rushing yards in NFL history across three seasons.. Read more about derrick henry stats 2020 and let us know what you think.
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