Week 6 Bama Pro of the Week: Derrick Henry
Never to be outdone by his fellow Crimson Tide stars, Tennessee Titan Derrick Henry put his team on his back once again in the pursuit of a critical AFC South divisional victory over the Houston Texans.
On the day, the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner accumulated 212 rushing yards on 22 carries, 52 yards on two receptions and two MVP-level touchdowns.
The Texans held a 23-21 lead over the Titans heading into the fourth quarter when Derrick Henry outran the Houston defense for a 94-yard touchdown, the second 90+ yard touchdown of his career.
If anyone knows speed, it's Las Vegas Raider wide receiver Henry Ruggs III, as he commented on Henry's absurd highlight that saw the near-250lb running back hit 21.6 MPH at top speed.
Never satisfied, Henry said after the game, "That's too slow, I want to get to 22." Ironically, Henry said just the same when he topped out at the same speed on his 99-yard powerhouse run against the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2018.
Later in the fourth, the Titans sent the game into overtime when Ryan Tannehill connected with AJ Brown in the back of the endzone. At the coin toss, Texans QB Deshaun Watson wanted the ball out of Derrick Henry and company's hands, and for good reason.
The Titans made quick work in overtime thanks in large part to 53-yard reception by Henry out of the backfield. Four plays later, Henry took the snap from a Wildcat formation and pounded into the endzone off left tackle for the game-winning score.
With this performance, Henry has shoe-horned himself into the MVP race with the like of Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson. Though no running back has won the award since Adrian Peterson in 2012, Henry is on a record-setting pace of 2,150 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns. The former would overtake Eric Dickerson's single-season record by 45 yards, a record which has stood for 36 years.
On top of that, Henry stacked up even more ridiculous stats Sunday afternoon. He outgained five NFL offenses on the day, is now tied with the rest of the NFL's backs combined for 200+-yard rushing performances since 2018 with his third, joined Hall of Famers Jim Brown, Barry Sanders and LaDanian Tomlinson as the only running backs in NFL history to record three games with 200+ yards and two or more touchdowns, and took the NFL lead in rushing yards with 588.
Henry has hit a gear that may even surpass that of last year when he powered his team to an AFC Championship appearance.
He'll need to continue this pace to keep the Titans undefeated through next week. Tennessee hosts the likewise 5-0 Pittsburgh Steelers in a game that was previously scheduled for Week 4 until the Titans experienced a COVID-19 outbreak. Still, the Steelers boast one of the best defenses in the NFL, especially in the running game. Pittsburgh has allowed just 66 yards per game on the ground, good for second in the NFL.
Luckily for Derrick Henry and his fans, he's never satisfied.
Here are your Week 6 honorable mentions:
- Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins: Going 2-2 for nine yards isn't the whole story, he was just named the Miami Dolphins starting quarterback.
- Kenyan Drake, Cardinals: 20 rushes, 164 yards, two touchdowns
- Julio Jones, Falcons: eight receptions, 137 yards, two touchdowns, and an Emmy-worthy acting performance
- Minkah Fitzpatrick, Steelers: one tackle, one interception for a 33-yard touchdown
Be sure to tune back into tide1009.com each Tuesday to see the Bama Pro of the Week throughout the NFL season.