Derrick Henry could become eighth member of 2,000-yard club

USA TODAY Sports

In what could be the last year of a 16-game season, Titans running back Derrick Henry has a chance to join a club that already carries one asterisk, and soon could carry two.

Seven tailbacks have rushed for 2,000 yards or more in a season. The first, Bills running back O.J. Simpson, did it in 1973, when the NFL played only 14 regular-season games. Eleven years later, after the regular-season grew from 14 to 16 games, Rams running back Eric Dickerson set the single-season record, with 2,105 yards. (Simpson averaged 143 yards per game; Dickerson averaged 131.)

Thirteen years would pass until another running back got to 2,000 yards. Lions running back Barry Sanders rushed for 2,053 yards in 1997. The next year, Broncos running back Terrell Davis finished with 2,008 rushing yards.

In 2003, Ravens running back Jamal Lewis rushed for 2,066 rushing yards. In 2009, Titans running back Chris Johnson finished his second NFL season with 2,066 rushing yards.

Three years after that, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson came the closest of anyone to breaking Dickerson’s record, with 2,097 rushing yards.

Henry has 1,532 rushing yards through 13 games. He’ll become the eighth member of the 2,000-yard club (and the second Titans player to join) with 468 more yards. That’s 156 per game for three games. Given the defenses he’ll be facing (Lions, Packers, Texans), it’s not out of the question.

Also not out of the question: 191 yards per game over the final three. That would match Dickerson, and it would thrust Henry firmly into the MVP conversation.

Can he do it? It depends on how many opportunities he gets and, obviously, what he does with them.

10 responses to “Derrick Henry could become eighth member of 2,000-yard club

  1. Oj if paying 16 games had about 2286 yards. ED was under 2000 after 14 games. Still amazing and for DH to be close to 2000 in today’s NFL, if he does it it is unlikely to happen again.

  2. Derrick Henry in December is money. Especially vs tanking teams and soft defenses. If he hits 200 this weekend and win I think the team pushes for it.

    Also, shout out to Titans Offensive Line. Give those maulers some credit for his great numbers too.

  3. A lot of players are going to be making business decisions this month when they see Henry running towards them.

  4. Jamal Lewis was a BEAST and would have easily broken the record had Brian Billick not removed him from the second half of the second game against the Browns that season (Lewis had almost 300 yards in the first game against the Browns.) He wanted to keep him healthy for the playoffs since Lewis was obviously the bulk of the offense for the Ravens that season. It’s unfortunate that Lewis doesn’t get the same recognition as those other great running backs, dude had over eight season rushing for over a thousand yards. You won’t see that anymore even with a 17 game season.

  5. 156 yards per game is a lot for any back. Henry certainly has the potential to do it since he always seems to put up big numbers late in the season.

  6. Henry has said repeatedly that he doesn’t care about his yardage total. He only wants to win. He has left plenty of games early this year, 2000 yards is not part of his agenda.

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