NFL Specials: Will Derrick Henry Break the Single-Season Rushing Attempts Record?

By in NFL on
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The 2021 NFL season is already a fascinating one for a variety of reasons. Raise your hand if, for example, you expected the Arizona Cardinals to be the last unbeaten team entering Week 7. Did anyone think the Kansas City Chiefs would have three losses through their first six games? Who expected Jon Gruden to be the first coach to get fired?

While the season has already given us a fair number of unexpected twists and turns, not everything has been a surprise. The continued dominance of Derrick Henry falls into that category. Through six games, King Henry is doing what he always does. The Titans’ all-world running back has already amassed 783 rushing yards with 10 touchdowns while helping to keep Tennessee afloat in the AFC South picture.

There is not a better running back in football right now. Opposing defenses know the Titans are going to hand the ball to Henry as often as they possibly can, yet there’s still no stopping him. He’s putting up massive numbers again this season despite averaging 4.8 yards per carry, which is actually his lowest average since his second year as a pro.

BetOnline’s oddsmakers are giving you the chance to wager on whether Henry will ultimately enjoy a record-setting campaign. The site currently has three new Henry-specific props posted and ready for your action. Let’s check ’em out.

Will Henry Break the Single-Season Record for Rushing Attempts?

  • Yes (-175)
  • No (+135)

The NFL has been around for a long time. For many years, the concept of the “forward pass” was almost unthinkable.

Why risk throwing an interception when you can simply hand the ball to your trusty running back instead?

This conservative mantra ruled the league for decades before coaches finally started to wise up. Over the past decade, the NFL has become a pass-first league, for the most part.

Henry is the featured aspect of Tennessee’s offense, so it’s no surprise to see that this team ranks near the top of the league when it comes to run play percentage. The Titans have handed the ball off on better than 46.5 percent of their snaps, which is the sixth-highest rate in football. The Titans ranked third in the same category a season ago when Henry ran for over 2,000 yards.

Through six games, Henry has amassed a league-high 162 rushing attempts. That comes out to 27 carries per game. Last year, Henry racked up a career-high 378 carries in 16 games, which is an average of about 23 per week. It’s hard to bank on Henry maintaining an average of 27 carries per game considering game script will fluctuate week-to-week, but the Titans are featuring him more heavily than ever so far in 2021.

Let’s not forget that the NFL has added a 17th game to the schedule, which means we can safely expect a number of statistical records to fall this term. Henry is averaging 130.5 rushing yards per game through six weeks. If we project that average out over 17 games, he’s on pace to rush for 2,218.5 yards this season. That will absolutely obliterate Eric Dickerson’s long-standing single-season rushing record of 2,105.

However, Dickerson didn’t set a record for rushing attempts that year. Dickerson’s 404 totes for the 1986 Rams are the fourth-most for any player in a single season. Larry Johnson, who carried the ball 416 times for the 2006 Chiefs, is the current record-holder. Jamal Anderson (410), James Wilder (407), and Eddie George are the only other players in league history to top 400 carries in a year.

If he continues to carry the ball an average of 27 times per game, Henry is also going to crush Johnson’s old record. 27 looks per game for 17 games is a whopping 459 carries, which is why the odds (-175) heavily favor Henry to set a new mark this season. I’m not at all convinced he’ll continue at his current pace, but he can still get there even if that average drops to 25 carries per game for the rest of the year.

Henry has been remarkably durable over the course of his career, too. When it comes to breaking records, health is paramount. His role is going to remain the same as long as he can stay upright, so Henry looks like a great bet to set a new rushing attempts record in ’21.

Will Henry Break the Record for Rushing Attempts?

Yes (-175)

Will Henry Have Another 3-Touchdown Game This Year?

  • Yes (-350)
  • No (+225)

As mentioned, Henry has already found the end zone 10 times through the Titans’ first six games of the year. Not only does he lead all NFL players in that regard, but he has also scored more TDs than the New York Jets have…as a team. The Jets have just seven on the year. Henry’s 10 rushing scores are more than 30 of the league’s 32 teams, as well. Only the Titans (obviously) and Ravens have more rushing touchdowns than Henry does all by himself.

Henry scored three times in the Titans’ 34-31 win over the Bills on Monday night, marking the third time already this season that he found paydirt three times. Henry has six touchdowns over his last two games, and he also scored thrice in the Titans’ comeback win over the Seahawks back in Week 2. So, nine of his 10 scores have come in just three of the team’s six games.

Henry’s surge of three-score games is a bit surprising considering he had just one such game all of last year. Henry found the end zone three times in late November against the Colts, while he scored twice in five different games. Henry is almost always getting the ball when the Titans make their way down to the goal line, so he should find himself with no shortage of scoring chances as the season progresses.

While Henry makes three-touchdown games seem like no big deal, they are still incredibly rare. There have been a total of seven three-TD games in the NFL this year, and Henry has accounted for nearly half of them.

Given the way the odds are shaking out, I think betting against Henry enjoying another three-score outing is the way to go here. He does have 11 games left to accomplish the feat, but the +225 odds on “no” really stand out. Can we really bank that heavily on Henry scoring three touchdowns in a game again this season? I don’t think so.

Will Henry Have Another 3-Touchdown Game This Year?

No (+225)

Will Henry Have Another 50-Plus Yard Touchdown This Season?

  • Yes (-250)
  • No (+170)

Henry is a freak of nature because we aren’t used to seeing running backs his size succeed at this level. Henry stands 6’3″ and nearly 250 pounds, which makes him look more like a linebacker than a running back. Despite his size, Henry also somehow happens to be one of the fastest players in the entire league.

Henry busted a 76-yard touchdown run in Monday’s win over the Bills, which marked the second time this season that he ripped off a carry of more than 50 yards. Henry galloped for a 60-yarder in Seattle in the second game of the season. He also has a pair of touchdown runs of at least 90 yards in his career, including an incredible record-tying 99-yard score back in 2018. His 76-yarder the other night was the third-longest of his NFL career, and his fourth TD carry of at least 75 yards since turning pro.

While I’m skeptical that Henry will put another three-TD game on the board, I do like his chances of picking up another long touchdown run. Not only was Henry’s 76-yard scamper the second-longest of any player in a game this season, but it was the fastest run any player has clocked all year.

Henry reached a top speed of 21.8 miles per hour on his touchdown, which is the fastest recorded speed of any ball-carrier in the NFL in 2021. The others with the best times thus far are noted speedsters Henry Ruggs, Jalen Reagor, Trenton Cannon, and Quez Watkins. None of those other players are taller than 6’0″ or weigh even 200 pounds.

Given his incredible athleticism and size, tackling Henry is no easy feat. With those dimensions and the Titans’ fondness of running the football, Henry will have ample opportunity to record at least one more touchdown run of at least 50 yards before the season is over with.

Will Henry Have Another 50-Plus Yard Touchdown This Season?

Yes (-250)

Taylor Smith

Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, bu ...

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