NFL Rushing Record: Will Derrick Henry break the season rushing record in 2021?

Is Derrick Henry on pace to break the NFL single-season rushing record in 2021, and what other records could he have in his sights?

Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry has started the 2021 NFL season at a ferocious pace and has his eyes set on the NFL rushing record. Henry has wowed NFL fans with his throwback-rushing performances in the past two years, but he is on pace to post even better numbers in 2021. Below we will keep track of Henry’s performances and look at how close he is to breaking the single-season RB records.

How many rushing yards does Derrick Henry have after Week 7?

Following an 86-yard rushing outing on Sunday against the Chiefs, Henry has 869 rushing yards in the 2021 NFL season. He is averaging 124.1 rushing yards per game through the first seven weeks and has over 100 yards in five of his seven straight games.

What’s the NFL single-season rushing record?

Eric Dickerson set the single-season rushing record of 2,105 yards all the way back in 1984. In 2020, Henry got within 100 yards of beating Dickerson when he rushed for 2,027 yards. Henry averaged 126.7 yards per game last season and is currently beating that number this year.

At his current pace of 124.1 rushing yards per game, Henry is en route for 2,109.7 rushing yards in a 17-game season. Remarkably, if this were a 16-game season, Henry would not actually be on pace to break the record. His current average of 124.1 rushing yards per game would only be good enough for 1985.6 rushing yards.

Which other NFL rushing records could Henry break in 2021?

As well as rushing for over 850 yards through seven weeks, Henry has scored 10 rushing touchdowns. He’s averaging 1.4 touchdowns per game and is on pace for 24.3 rushing scores. That would tie leave him 4 touchdowns short of former San Diego RB LaDainian Tomlinson atop the season-long record books.

Henry also leads the NFL with 191 rushing attempts through the first six weeks. At an average of 27.3 per game, Henry’s current rate would leave him with 463.9 carries on the year. That would break the NFL’s single-season record for the most rushing attempts, which is currently 416 by Larry Johnson in 2006.

Another record to keep an eye on is O.J. Simpson’s single-season rushing record in terms of yards per game. Simpson averaged 143.1 yards per game in the 1973 season. As it stands, Henry’s 124.1 yards per game is still significantly below that pace. However, from Weeks 2-6, Henry rushed for an average of 145 yards per game and had been creeping closer to Simpson’s mark each and every week.

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