Derrick Henry raced his way into the record books on Sunday by breaking the 2000-yard rushing barrier. The star Tennessee Titans running back gashed the Texans for 250 yards to become just the eighth player in the history of the NFL to rush for 2000 yards in a single season.
Henry also broke the Titans franchise rushing record with a total of 2,027 yards. His accomplishment snapped a 11-year record held by former star Chris Johnson, who set the bar in 2009.
With his 2020 performance, Henry now joins an elite club, filled with football’s greatest ballcarriers to play the game. Barry Sanders, one of those running backs, took to Twitter on Sunday night to congratulate his newest peer on a job well done.
“Welcome to the 2000 yard club @KingHenry_2,” Sanders tweeted with an accompanying graphic of the Titans ballcarrier.
— Barry Sanders (@BarrySanders) January 4, 2021
For Henry, there’s not much higher praise that could’ve been given out. Sanders himself is a member of the 2000-yard club having rushed for 2,053 yards in 1997 with the Detroit Lions. He ranks fourth on the all-time single season list. Eric Dickerson’s rushing record remains atop the record books after he rushed for 2,105 yards in 1984.
Sanders is widely believed to be one of the best running backs to ever play the game. He won the MVP in 1997 during his record breaking year and made six All-Pro First Teams. He never ran for under 1,000 yards in any of the 10 years of his career and scored 99 rushing touchdowns over that span.
It’s too early to say if Henry will ever be able to match Sanders’ prowess, but the Titans star is well on his way. In his last two regular seasons, he combined for 3,567 rushing yards and 33 touchdowns, leading the league in both categories with ease in both seasons. At just 26, Henry might only be through about half of his NFL lifespan.
However, no running back has rushed for 2,000 yards twice in their career, meaning Henry might’ve already reached his apex.
With the Titans win on Sunday, the AFC South champions locked up the No. 4 seed going into the playoffs. As Tennessee rounds into the postseason, Henry will have a chance to build upon his astounding year.
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