Derrick Henry: The next possible NFL MVP

Davin Roy, Contributing Writer

Second-round pick and Tennessee Titans running back, Derrick Henry has been having an immaculate season so far in 2020. Henry made a lot of noise last season when he led the Titans to the playoffs and to the AFC Championship game before losing to the Kansas City Chiefs, making it past Tom Brady’s New England Patriots and upsetting the 2019 MVP, Lamar Jackson, and the 14-2 Baltimore Ravens. He finished those three playoff games with 446 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Henry made his presence felt like an elite running back in the NFL last postseason, and he has not slowed down in 2020 whatsoever.

Through the first six games of the 2020 season, Henry has put up 663 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. Henry has been an important factor of the success for the Titans this season, starting out 5-1 on the year and only losing to the 6-0 Pittsburgh Steelers. While quarterback, Ryan Tannehill, has shown a vast amount of improvement this season, it is still clear that Henry is the leader of that offense. Henry is on track to have a historic season, he is playing as he could potentially win the Most Valuable Player Award. His success this season is a threat to the elite quarterbacks of the league looking to have an MVP season.

The NFL MVP is typically awarded to a quarterback because they are typically the most important component to a team’s major success, but in this case, Henry is the impact weapon on Tennessee. The last five MVPs have been Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, Matt Ryan, and Cam Newton, which are all quarterbacks. The last non-quarterback to win an MVP was future Hall of Fame running back, Adrian Peterson, who won the award in 2012. Peterson put up incredible numbers, 2097 rushing yards and 12 rushing touchdowns. Peterson played for the Minnesota Vikings in 2012 that barely made it to the playoffs that season, Derrick Henry looks to have a stronger case for MVP because he has a better supporting cast. While Henry may not finish with over 2000 rushing yards, he is on pace to get more rushing touchdowns than Peterson and more importantly, the Titans are on set to get the number three seed in the AFC and win their division. The fact that the Titans have more than only Henry to rely on will help his resume for MVP.

NFL quarterbacks are hungry to be recognized as the league MVP. The quarterbacks that are making the strongest statements to win MVP this season are Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, Kyler Murray and Josh Allen. These quarterbacks all have one thing in common, they have to play hard if they don’t want Henry to take home the MVP title. Derrick Henry winning MVP is very realistic. If his success, along with the Titans’ success continues, then quarterbacks should beware of Derrick Henry snatching the 2020 MVP crown and a change coming to the league.