Alabama in the Pros

Derrick Henry pushes Titans past Bills to remain lone winning team in AFC South

Derrick Henry (#22) stiff arms a Bills' defender to the ground
Andy Lyons - Getty Images

People could hail Derrick Henry as the modern-day Earl Campbell, and no one would be upset.

He has become the best in the game at his position since entering the NFL in 2016.

RELATED: Alabama has three players selected to AP Midseason All-America Team

Henry is not only the heartbeat of the Tennessee Titans, but he has earned the respect of every defense. He endured some frustrations in his first two seasons; however, the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner has been a superstar since 2018. After becoming a legend at the University of Alabama, the native Floridian is quickly climbing up the annals of Titans/Houston Oilers history.

He is fourth all-time for rushing yards (6,643) and second in touchdowns (65). Henry is nearing his fourth straight 1,000-yard rushing campaign since 2018. The 6-foot-3, 247-pounder recorded his fifth 100-yard performance this season on Monday Night Football against the Buffalo Bills. He got the Titans rolling in the second quarter with a 76-yard touchdown run. Despite his size, Henry reached a top speed of 21.80 miles per hour.

Per Next Gen Stats, it was the fastest speed reached by a ball carrier this year.

He posted three rushing scores for the third time. Henry had 143 yards rushing on 20 carries, totaling a season-high of 7.2 yards per rush in the Titans’ 34-31 victory. He leads the NFL for carries (162), yards (783), and touchdowns (10) after six games.

RELATED: Alabama has three players selected to AP Midseason All-America Team

Henry’s 76-yard touchdown run was the 11th time in his career he scored on a play of 50+ yards, tying former Titans’ running back Chris Johnson for fourth-most in NFL history.

Legendary names such as Adrian Peterson (16), Barry Sanders (12), and Jim Brown (12) have more 50+ yard touchdowns than Henry.

At 4-2, Henry has the Titans as the lone winning team in the AFC South. He is a two-time rushing champion and is on his way to a third straight NFL rushing title.

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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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