If This Is It For Him Here, Cheers to Titans' Derrick Henry

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Derrick Henry turned 30 on Thursday, three days before the Titans' season finale and what could be his last game with the team that drafted him in 2016.

He was named to the AFC's Pro Bowl roster a day early, though he said it was for play he's "not too proud of" this year. Sunday' the Titans will doubtlessly introduce the offense and let a guy who's been as much the face of the franchise as anyone in the team's 25 seasons in Nashville soak in the appreciation of the home crowd.

Derrick Henry
Derrick Henry/ Angie Flatt

The game will determine if the Jaguars win the AFC South and if the Titans finish with five wins or six, winless in their division for the first time since they were the Houston Oilers in 1982, a season shortened by a strike that included just four division games. 

Henry is beloved and with good reason.

In this week's edition of The Paul Kuharsky Podcast, I discuss if he's the most meaningful Titan ever.

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The Paul Kuharsky Podcast

He's worked behind a terrible line this season. But even stats that take into account what's available indicate he's diminishing. NextGen says he has gained 3 yards over expected this year -- that's .003 percent of his total rushing yards.

The Titans are obligated to retool their offensive line for a second consecutive year. But even with a better unit, they are also obligated to project what Henry will be in his ninth season.

That's why everyone should savor him on Sunday.

In his four best seasons from 2019-2022, he averaged -- AVERAGED -- 110 rushing yards, 4.8 yards per carry and a rushing touchdown a game.

That's ridiculous.

Chris Johnson in his prime four years, averaged 110 yards from scrimmage, 4.7 yards per carry and .59 total touchdowns a game. Johnson was an electric player, and Henry, without much of a pass-catching element to his game, leaves him in the dust with that scoring output.

So cheers to Henry, with a second shot for Ryan Tannehill, who isn't in the same class but also deserves a quality sendoff. I cover him in the pod as well.

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