Whenever Tennessee Titans star running back Derrick Henry is mentioned, there are always about two or three conversations that follow immediately. Fans, whether they’re Titans fans or not, normally say that he’s the best running back in the game today. No one in their right minds would argue with that even if they disagree.
More often than not, that vicious stiff-arm of his finds its way into the conversation. If you’re a gamer, regardless of whether the Playstation or the XBOX is your weapon of choice, you’ve probably delivered a few of those if the King is on your Madden Ultimate Team roster.
Still, even with that being said, one thing that we don’t always mention is his explosiveness. He’s kind of like Eric Dickerson in that way. Both are great, but once they hit top speed, it never looks like they’re running that fast. Then again, we never see people running them down from behind either, so maybe that’s an argument that can be trashed.
Here’s something that will tackle the fancy if you love watching King Henry work. Recently, NFL.com’s Nick Shook compiled a ten-man list of the most explosive runners of the 2020 regular season, and those of us that see Henry as more of a power back might be surprised and excited by where this young man fell.
Tennessee Titans star Derrick Henry earns a top-five ranking.
Shook comes up with a nice list here and one of those stories fans would be wise to actually read. The list is compiled by using NFL Next Gen stats and stands on some distinct factors: how many runs of ten-plus yards the player had, how many times they reached 15 miles per hour or more, and how often from a percentage standpoint, both of these things happened.
Qualifying players had to have 100 carries or more, They also had to have at least 20 carries of ten yards or more. As you might imagine, Lamar Jackson landed ahead of Henry but, as a surprise to some, he wound up in second place with 32 carries of ten-plus yards, something he did 20.1 percent of the time that he tucked the ball and ran.
Jackson also surpassed 15 miles per hour on 85 different scrambles. That happened 53.5 percent of the time.
Kyler Murray topped said list with 32 ten-plus-yard scrambles of his own which came on 24.1 percent of his scrambles. He reached the 15 mile-per-hour mark 94 times (that’s insane), budget this. When Murray took off, he got to 15 miles per hour on 70.7 percent of his scrambles.
Derrick Henry came in third. Check out his numbers. He had 48 runs of ten yards per more, doing so on 12.7 percent of his league-leading 378 carries. He reached 15 miles per hour 89 times, good for the second-most among all NFL running backs and 23.5 percent of his total carries.
The rest of the list, from four to ten, stacked up like this: J.K. Dobbins, Dalvin Cook, Nick Chubb, Alvin Kamara, Jonathan Taylor, Darrell Henderson, and Damien Harris. The moral of the story is this. The next time you say Derrick Henry’s name, put some respect on it! Sorry. That was hard to resist, but the fact remains. King Henry isn’t just a workhorse. He’s one of the game’s most explosive runners.
Hey, you know how the old saying goes. People lie. Numbers don’t. Now, following a season where the Tennessee Titans star joined the 2000-yard club, it’s going to be interesting to see what he does for an encore in 2021.