Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry has established himself as one of the best players in the NFL over the past few years, but during the regular-season finale against the Houston Texans this Sunday, he officially etched his name in NFL history. In the fourth quarter of Tennessee’s Week 17 matchup against Houston, Henry became just the eighth player in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards in a single season, reaching the 2,000-yard mark on a second-and-5 carry that resulted in six yards with the Titans down 35-31.
The first player to rush for 2,000 yards in single season was Buffalo Bills legend O.J. Simpson, who recorded 2,003 yards and 12 touchdowns during the 1973 campaign. The last player to join the list was Adrian Peterson, who rushed for 2,097 yards and 12 touchdowns with the Minnesota Vikings in 2012. Henry is actually the second Titan to join this exclusive club, as Chris Johnson rushed for 2,006 yards and 14 touchdowns with Tennessee back in 2009. The Titans are the only franchise to have two players accomplish this feat.
Henry came into Week 17 needing 223 rushing yards to reach 2,000 on the year. While that single-game goal may have sounded unlikely for most running backs, Henry is a different animal. Not only does he average a whopping 118.5 yards per game, but he has rushed for over 200 yards in a single game four different times in his career in the regular season — including earlier this year when the Titans hosted the Texans in Nashville. Back in October, Henry rushed for 212 yards and two touchdowns in the 42-36 victory over Houston.
Henry, who was drafted by the Titans in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft out of Alabama, has become the face of the franchise, and has carried this organization to new heights. Just last year in the playoffs, he rushed for 182 yards against the New England Patriots and then 195 yards against the Baltimore Ravens to take the Titans to the AFC Championship game. It was more than enough for Henry to secure a new extension this offseason, and he rewarded the Titans by putting up career-high numbers.