All aboard the Derrick Henry hype train. We will be pulling out shortly.
The Tennessee Titans running back barreled his way for a career-high 92 yards on 14 carries with a touchdown in Sunday's victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. The performance displayed just a hint of his workhorse ability.
The 6-foot-3, 247-pound former Heisman Trophy winner runs with a patient rage, slides through arm tackles, owns the speed to glide to the edge and power to bring the hammer down on defenders daring to attempt a tackle. The ease with which Henry strides to the second level is a marvel to watch for a man his size.
"D-Hen, he's like an outside linebacker running the football," Woodyard said. "And we always tell him, 'hey bro, the first time you lower that shoulder and boom somebody in a game, they're not going to want to tackle you in the fourth quarter.'
"And it shows, guys try to get out of their way when he's coming, try to adjust the way they tackle him. He's a big guy. He's a Heisman ... so it's a lot of fun to see that power back out there on the football field running and controlling the game."
Henry has looked much better than starter DeMarco Murray, who is dealing with hamstring injuries. Through two games, Henry has more rushing yards (117 to 69), touchdowns (1 to 0) and a higher yards-per-carry average (5.9 to 3.3) than his backfield mate. Of players with at least 20 carries, only Kareem Hunt and Carlos Hyde are averaging more yards per tote than Henry in 2017.
Despite Murray's struggles -- he's averaged fewer than 3.8 yards per carry each of his last four games dating back to last season -- the Titans didn't hand the load to Henry until the second half of last week's tilt, when Murray's hamstring flared up. After Henry displayed what leaning on defenders can do to an opponent, perhaps Titans coaches will swap roles and allow the second-year back to carry the load as the season presses forward.