Derrick Henry has been an unstoppable force over the past three seasons. The Tennessee Titans running back continues to prove that a running game matters even in a pass-heavy league. He’s also racking up yards and scores at a historical pace.
By rushing for 130 yards in Sunday’s win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Henry passed Jim Brown for the most rushing yards any player has ever had in a 40-game stretch. Rounding out the top five in that category are O.J. Simpson, Terrell Davis and Eric Dickerson.
How dominant has Derrick Henry been?
Most Rush Yards over 40-game stretch NFL History:
Henry 4,792 (2018-21)
Jim Brown 4,759 (1963-65)
O.J. Simpson 4,739 (1972-75)
Terrell Davis 4,597 (1996-98)
Eric Dickerson 4,594 (1984-86)
Absolute FORCE pic.twitter.com/it4sl6DpaG
— NFL on CBS (@NFLonCBS) October 10, 2021
The stat is remarkable no matter how you look at it. Notice that Henry is the only running back on the list who played in the last 20-plus years. That is not a coincidence. In an era where quarterbacks regularly throw for 4,000-plus yards and the game is clearly geared toward passing, Henry is essentially on his own planet.
As Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk notes, Henry is also on pace to become the first running back ever to rush for at least 1,500 yards and 15 touchdowns in three consecutive seasons. Again, he’s doing all this in a pass-heavy league and one where the running-back-by-committee approach has become more popular by the year.
Like most great running backs, Henry has shown appreciation for his offensive line by giving them some great gifts. There’s no doubt they have contributed to his success, but Henry also has more yards after contact this season than any other running back has total rushing yards. He’s truly a freak of nature.