In Thursday night’s 27-17 victory over the Green Bay Packers, Derrick Henry’s performance was like a Thanksgiving meal filled with a little bit of everything.
After the Packers pulled within a score in the third quarter, the Titans running back caught two passes for 45 yards, including a massive 42-yard screen. He rushed for 87 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries.
In addition, Henry added two passes, including a 3-yard jump pass to a wide-open Austin Hooper for a touchdown.
In reference to the TD toss, Henry quipped, “I call myself the young Peyton Manning.”.
With all eyes on the bruising back near the goal, the entire defense rallied to stop the 247-pound Henry, leaving Hopper wide open in the end zone, and he responded by leaping over a heap of bodies to score the touchdown.
According to The Tennessean, Hooper “looked around after I caught it and I had no idea I was wide open.” “I thought, wow, this was very well planned.” Sell the run, sell the run, sell the run, sell the run, sell the run, watch the guy who’s supposed to cover me, fill the D gap, slip it, and then just see a mass of humanity and a ball pop over the top.”
Henry’s effort helped lead the Titans to their best offensive output of the season, scoring 27 points and gaining 408 yards. He became the first running back this season to surpass 1,000 yards (1,010).
With his rush TD, Henry became the fifth player in NFL history with 10-plus rush touchdowns in five consecutive seasons — three of the previous four players won the AP NFL MVP award within the span of five-plus seasons (Shaun Alexander in 2005, LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006, and Adrian Peterson in 2012).
However, King Henry remains motivated by naysayers from his high school days who doubted he could be an NFL player, let alone the engine of a division leader.
Henry said, “I’m always motivated, constantly thinking and constantly criticizing myself every single day. It never stops.” “I’m gonna keep going for it.” My goal is to help this team win and be the best player I can be. I want to be the best I can be to help this team. … I’m always looking for something to fuel me, and that’s always been the case since I started playing this game.”
As Thanksgiving week approaches, the Titans have won seven of their past eight games after an 0-2 start.