At 247 pounds it doesn't seem possible that Derrick Henry has the speed to outrun an entire NFL defense, but not only did he do that on Monday, he also ran faster than ANY other NFL player this season.
The Titans running back got to show off his blazing speed during the second quarter of Tennessee's 34-31 win over the Bills. On a first-and-10 play from their own 24-yard line, Ryan Tannehill handed the ball off to Henry, who then proceeded to outrun the entire Bills defense for a 76-yard touchdown.
According to NFL's Next Gen Stats, Henry reached a top speed of 21.8 mph on the play, which is notable, because it's currently the FASTEST speed that any player in the NFL has reached this season. Before Henry's run, that honor belonged to Raiders receiver Henry Ruggs, who hit a top speed of 21.78 mph on a 51-yard catch against the Chargers in Week 4.
Of course, the big difference between Ruggs and Henry is that the Titans running back weighs 47 POUNDS MORE than the Raiders receiver. As a matter of fact, of the five fastest speeds recorded in the NFL this year before Henry's run, all five came from players who weighed 200 pounds or less, which makes Henry's speed all the more impressive. At 6-foot-3 and nearly 250 pounds, Henry shouldn't be able to run with that kind of speed, but he can, which is one of the big reasons why he's currently the best running back in the NFL.
Through six weeks, not only does his 783 rushing yards lead the league by 260 YARDS, but he's also on pace for 2,218.5 yards, which would break Eric Dickerson's NFL record of 2,105 (Henry's pace for a 16-game season is 2,088 yards, which would be the third-highest in NFL history).
The 76-yard run by Henry was the 11th run of his career that went for 50 yards or more, which ties him for the fourth most in NFL history. Only Adrian Peterson (16), Jim Brown (15) and Barry Sanders (12) have recorded more 50-yard runs.
Henry also had three touchdowns against the Bills, which makes him the first NFL player since 2005 to rush for at least 10 touchdowns through the first six weeks of the season. Over the past five weeks, Henry has three games where he's rushed for 125 yards or more along with three rushing touchdowns, which is absolutely absurd when you consider this:
Through Week 6, @KingHenry_2 has 3 games w/ 125+ rush yards and 3+ rush TD in 2021— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) October 19, 2021
That is already tied for the most such games in a single season in the Super Bowl era (a feat most recently accomplished by Shaun Alexander in his 2005 MVP season)@Titans | #MondayNightFootball
Basically, through the first six weeks of the season, Henry is having one of the best NFL seasons ever for a running back and if he continues on this pace, he might finish the year with one of the best running back seasons in NFL history. This is all even more impressive because he's doing this in an era where the NFL has turned into a predominantly passing league.
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