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The NFL is playing its 99th season, and somehow only one player had ever posted a 99-yard touchdown run before Thursday night. That was Tony Dorsett for the Dallas Cowboys in 1983.
Derrick Henry, join the club.
Henry’s 99-yard touchdown was part of a historic night. Henry set a Tennessee Titans record with 238 rushing yards, and had four rushing touchdowns in a 30-9 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. He did so on just 17 carries. Henry’s big night helped the Titans improve to 7-6, and they stayed in the race for the final AFC wild-card spot. They’re a half-game behind the 7-5 Baltimore Ravens, who play at Kansas City on Sunday.
Henry had one of the most efficient games in NFL history. Before Thursday there were only six 200-yard rushing games in NFL history on less than 20 carries. Henry became the first player in the Super Bowl era with 200 yards and four touchdowns with 20 or fewer carries, according to NFL Research. Henry’s other touchdowns were from 3, 16 and 54 yards.
If you somehow had Henry in your lineup to start the fantasy playoffs, you’re feeling pretty good. Still, Henry passed on a chance at a fifth touchdown. He came to the sideline, insisting that teammate Dion Lewis go in and try to get one. Lewis didn’t score, but it was a selfless gesture.
“We both gotta eat,” Henry told Fox’s Erin Andrews after the game. “I wanted him to get a touchdown. I’ve got four. I just care about my teammates, and I wanted to see him get a touchdown.”
He could have set the Titans’ single-game record with a fifth rushing touchdown, and he told Andrews he didn’t know that was the case.
“I didn’t. If I did, I still would have let him go in,” Henry told Andrews. “We’re like family.”
Strangely enough, the 99-yard touchdown run club has two members and both are Heisman Trophy winners. Henry, who won a Heisman at Alabama, got the ball on his own 1-yard line against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday night. Tennessee was pinned back after stopping Leonard Fournette on fourth-and-goal.
Henry was patient for a moment and then hit the hole to his left. He had a great crease and was easily in the open field. Tennessee blocked it very well.
It seemed like Jaguars cornerback A.J. Bouye would stop Henry for maybe 15 or 20 yards, but Henry is 247 pounds. Henry lined up Bouye, gave him a stiff arm at about the 20, knocking him back. Henry took off past him. Henry wasn’t done shoving defenders around.
Linebacker Leon Jacobs had a shot at Henry down the sideline. He got tossed off by another stiff arm. Linebacker Myles Jack had the last shot at Henry and, you guessed it, he got tossed aside to a Henry stiff arm as well.
Henry, amazingly enough for a back his size, reached the fastest speed of any ball carrier on a touchdown run in the NFL this season according to NFL Next Gen Stats.
Players around the NFL took notice, even comparing that run to Marshawn Lynch’s famous “Beast Mode” run for the Seattle Seahawks.
The Jaguars-Titans game wasn’t one of the best on the “Thursday Night Football” schedule this season. But those who tuned in saw some history.
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