Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans, 99-yard touchdown run vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

NFL


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry exploded for a franchise-record 238 yards and four touchdowns in a 30-9 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday night. The previous record in Titans/Oilers history was set by Chris Johnson, who gained 228 yards on Nov. 1, 2009, against the Jaguars.

Henry’s 99-yard touchdown run in the second quarter tied Dallas Cowboys Hall of Fame running back Tony Dorsett for the longest run in NFL history. Dorsett had 16 rushes for 153 yards and a touchdown in the game in which he scored a 99-yard TD. The Cowboys lost that game 31-27, however.

Henry kept the game ball after the long run. That’s something else that worked out better than it did for Dorsett.

“I’m keeping this ball,” Henry said when informed that Dorsett no longer has the game ball from his record run. “I got to spend a lot of time with him [Tony Dorsett] when I was at the Heisman. He’s a legend. It’s cool to be in that company with Tony Dorsett.”

Dorsett took to Twitter to share his appreciation for Henry’s run.

It was the league’s first 99-yard touchdown from scrimmage since Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz caught a 99-yard touchdown pass in Week 16 of the 2011 season against the Jets, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. Henry’s run is the longest in franchise history.

The long run almost didn’t happen because the original play call was a quarterback sneak. Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota said the call had a built-in option to be either a quarterback sneak or an outside zone run to Henry. Fortunately for the Titans, Mariota went with the correct option, and Henry hit it like his career depended on it.

“It was incredible. There is nothing like it,” Mariota said. “It looked like he got bottled up, and then he found his way out of it. Once that guy gets into the open field, he’s so hard to bring down. It’s a treat to watch.”

Henry totaled 81 yards after contact as he stiff-armed Jaguars linebacker Leon Jacobs and cornerback A.J. Bouye to the ground on the run. According to NFL Next Gen Stats, eight of the 11 Jaguars on the field got within 1.5 yards of Henry at some point during the run.

Added Henry. “It’s so crazy because when we were in the huddle, they were like, ‘You got to break it 99 yards. My main focus was to get positive yards. I just saw it and I hit it. My stiff-arm was working. It started up front with those guys.”

Before Thursday, Henry’s longest run this season was only 16 yards. He had three touchdown runs of at least 16 yards Thursday.

Henry added another explosive run when he scooted 54 yards for his third score. According to Next Gen Stats, Henry reached 21.74 mph on that play, the fastest speed by a ball carrier on a touchdown run this season.

Henry is the first player with two 50-yard touchdown runs in the same game since Tampa Bay’s Doug Martin in 2012 against the Raiders. Henry was started in only 14.3 percent of ESPN fantasy leagues.

Going into Thursday night’s game, the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner out of Alabama led the Titans with 474 rushing yards in 128 carries — an average of 3.7 yards per attempt — and five touchdowns. His huge day in which he averaged 14 yards per carry will easily increase the pedestrian average he brought into Week 14.

Henry is the fifth player in franchise history to record 150 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns in a game, joining Eddie George (2000), Earl Campbell (1978), Sid Blanks (1964) and Billy Cannon (1961).

The Titans also suffered a loss on Henry’s 99-yard score. Tight end Jonnu Smith sustained a knee injury and was taken to the locker room. He was subsequently ruled out for the game.





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