Alabama in the Pros

Derrick Henry wins 2020 NFL Offensive Player of the Year

Derrick Henry past a Texans defender
Troy Taormina - USA TODAY Sports

Derrick Henry has been the most dominant running back in the National Football League for two straight years.

He won the league’s rushing title again in 2020 and has been awarded NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year. The news happened on Saturday at the NFL Honors ceremony on the eve of Super Bowl 55. Henry becomes the first University of Alabama alumnus to receive the honor since Shaun Alexander in 2005 with the Seattle Seahawks. He propelled the Tennesee Titans to its first AFC South Division crown in 12 years (since 2008), as he totaled 378 carries for 2,027 yards rushing and 17 touchdowns.

Henry is the eighth back in league history to record 2,000 yards rushing. He was responsible for ten 100-yard performances, including a trio of 200-yard games. The 6-foot-3, 247-pounder feasted on the Houston Texans, amassing 462 yards rushing with four scores in both matchups.

The Titans won both games behind Henry’s dominance. In his three 200-yard contests, Henry accounted for two rushing touchdowns in each. Despite being held to a season-low 40 yards rushing in a loss to the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Wild Card round of the playoffs, the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner achieved 2,000 rushing yards without a Pro Bowler on the offensive line.

Henry made Ryan Tannehill’s job easy, as he tossed for 33 touchdowns to seven interceptions.

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The Titans need a couple of pieces to make a Super Bowl run, but Henry is the engine that powers it. He was doubted in the 2016 NFL Draft process; however, he has shamed all the haters.

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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 @CoachingMSmith

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