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Alabama in the Pros

Derrick Henry turns in career performance, moves Titans into tie for first in division

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Week six had a number of former University of Alabama football players account for exceptional performances in the National Football League.

Whether it was Mark Barron, A’Shawn Robinson, Landon Collins, Eddie Jackson, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, C.J. Mosley or Mark Ingram, every channel one surfed through saw an ex-Crimson Tide standout exude its potential with the professionals.  

After stating how much it wanted to get Derrick Henry more involved on offense, head coach Mike Mularkey and the Tennessee Titans had success in Monday’s 36-22 win over the Colts. 

He collected nearly 500 yards rushing (490) during his rookie season, but the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner and second-round pick took a lot of pressure off quarterback Marcus Mariota (hamstring) in the second half.

While Mariota handled things in the pocket, Henry wore down Indianapolis’ defense as he rushed for a career-high 131 yards on 19 carries at Nissan Stadium. 

The 6-foot-3, 247-pounder averaged 6.9 yards per carry, and would seal the game in the fourth quarter on a 72-yard touchdown run. Henry’s efforts on the play were reminiscent of not just the marquee runs he had at Alabama, but also the possession current Tide running back Bo Scarbrough had versus Washington in last year’s College Football Playoff semifinal. 

Henry’s run started to the left behind offensive tackle Taylor Lewan, and after shedding two defenders, he planted his foot in the ground and cut back to the right for the score.

With his assistance, Mariota was able to complete 22 of 32 passes for 306 yards and a touchdown – despite tossing a pick-six in the third quarter. Tennessee is now 2-1 in divisional games and has moved into a tie for first in the AFC South, holding a 3-3 record on the year. 

Henry currently leads the team in rushing with 318 yards on 62 carries. 

Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @Smsmith_TDALMag.

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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