Alabama in the Pros

NFL Network analyst presents case for Derrick Henry to be league MVP

Derrick Henry puts a crown on his head after dominant performance for Titans in 2020 AFC Divisional Round vs. Ravens
Geoff Burke - USA Today Sports

It has become an award for quarterbacks since 2013, but it is time for a different position to win Most Valuable Player in the National Football League.

Adrian Peterson was the last running back to win in 2012.

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He earned it with the Minnesota Vikings after recording a career-high 2,097  rushing yards with 12 touchdowns. Since 2000, Peterson is one of four rushers that won league MVP.

Derrick Henry has achieved many things in his young career, including two Pro Bowls, first-team All-Pro, two-time rushing champion, two-time leader for rushing touchdowns, 2,000-yard rushing club, and NFL Offensive Player of the Year. He has quieted all who underestimated his potential in the 2016 NFL Draft process, but he’s going after more. According to Michael Robinson, an analyst for NFL Network, he said Henry should be the league’s MVP.

Robinson played eight years (2006-13) in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks. As a former standout at Penn State, Robinson was voted to the 2011 Pro Bowl and won the Super Bowl in 2013.

“Through six weeks, Derrick Henry is the National Football League’s MVP,” Robinson said. “I know it may be taboo to talk about a running back being an MVP candidate early in the season, but look at his scrimmage yards. He has 10 touchdowns, and every time he gets the ball, he is always encountering 8 to 9 man boxes. He always has to have a free hitter, and he still runs through those guys. The guy seems to get stronger as the game goes on. I am not sure we have seen a back quite like King Henry, and nobody can tell me that someone else means more to their team than Derrick Henry means to the Tennessee Titans.”

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Alabama fans and Titan fans would agree with Robinson. He leads the NFL for carries (162), rushing yards (783), and scores.

He is on pace for his fourth straight 1,000-yard campaign since 2018 and his third straight 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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