The Tennessee Titans could have a 2,000-yard rusher this season. Titans’ superstar Derrick Henry could reach that mark if dominating the month of December continues to be his thing.

Only seven NFL franchises can say they have a 2,000-yard rusher: Buffalo Bills (O.J. Simpson), Los Angeles Rams (Eric Dickerson), Detroit Lions (Barry Sanders), Denver Broncos (Terrell Davis), Baltimore Ravens (Jamal Lewis), Tennessee Titans (Chris Johnson), and Minnesota Vikings (Adrian Peterson).

More December dominance could mean a 2,000-yard season for Derrick Henry. That would make the Tennessee Titans the only NFL franchise with two 2,000-yard rushers.

With this franchise’s luck at running back, it’s shocking that they haven’t already added a second player to that list. They’ve had the likes of Earl Campbell, Eddie George, and Chris Johnson. The organization breeds running backs like no other and Derrick Henry just adds to that growing list.

He could grow the 2,000-yard club list if “DeHenber” continues.

DEHENBER

Tennessee Titans
Dec 6, 2018; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) takes the handoff and runs 99 yards for the touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first half at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Derrick Henry’s run toward dominance started in the month of December. It was December 6th, 2018 when he rushed for 238 yards and three touchdowns versus the Jacksonville Jaguars.

That night was magical. A moment in Nissan Stadium history some will never forget. Henry chants filled the stadium, reminiscent of the “Eddie” chants for Titans’ legend Eddie George back in the day.

Interestingly enough, that night came after Eddie George talked some sense into Henry, and sparked a fire in Henry that changed the course of the Titans franchise up until this day.

Henry went on to rush for at least 84 yards in every game that month in 2018. He then won the NFL rushing title in 2019, and now he’s leading the NFL in 2020.

To add to his list of accolades, for the last two seasons Henry has averaged 130 yards per game in the month of December.

What makes “DeHenber” exciting this season is it has practically been his first full season of being the Titans bell cow. In previous years, he’s had to share the load with the likes of DeMarco Murray and Dion Lewis.

Now the Titans are 8-3, the third seed in the AFC, and, oh yeah, Henry is just 743 yards away from 2,000 yards.

THE ROAD TO 2,000 YARDS

Tennessee Titans
Oct 18, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) takes the direct snap and runs in for the winning touchdown against the Houston Texans in overtime at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

King Henry already leads the NFL with 1,257 yards this season. He ended the month of November with a bang, rushing for 178 yards versus the Indianapolis Colts. Mind you, the Colts have one of the league’s best rush defenses.

Granted they were missing two key defensive linemen, but Henry still ran for 103 versus them earlier in the month.

Now, Henry will see some easier run defenses in the month of December. The hardest he will see is this Sunday when the Tennessee Titans face the ninth-ranked rush defense of the Cleveland Browns, who are allowing 108.2 rushing yards per game.

The next best rush defense he will face is the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football in week 16. They are ranked 13th allowing 114.5 yards per game.

Other than those two outliers, three of the remaining five Tennessee Titans opponents are ranked 28th or worse in the NFL. The Houston Texans are 31st in the NFL, the Jacksonville Jaguars are 29th, and the Detroit Lions are 28th.

The key part of this stretch is the AFC South opponents. Henry has dominated the AFC South more than he has the rest of the NFL.

Earlier this season, Henry ran for 212 yards against the Texans. It was his second consecutive 200-yard performance versus Houston, as he ran for 211 yards versus them in week 17 of 2019.

In the past two seasons, Henry has run wild over the Jaguars in the second contest of the season series. As I mentioned, in 2018 he ran for 238 versus Jacksonville. In 2019, he ran for 159.

Henry will likely need a couple of big games like those if he wants a real shot at 2,000 yards with the Tennessee Titans. If his trend versus divisional foes continues, he likely will get those big games.

Henry is on pace for roughly 1,800 yards this season. A 2,000 yard season is a bit of a longshot. However, it’s not totally out of the question because it’s Derrick Henry.

The Tennessee Titans are the third seed in the AFC, with the Colts hot on their trail. They will ride Henry into the postseason, which means there will be chances to inch him closer to 2,000 yards. If he does, the Titans would have two 2,000-yard rushers in its history.

Featured image by Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports


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