Derrick Henry, the Tennessee Titans halfback, had one of the most memorable performances in NFL history on Thursday night. He had a lot of help from the fact that the Jacksonville Jaguars were not interested in this game limit, which had gone from one of the biggest disappointments of the league this season to something even more unpleasant.
"It was embarrassing for this Jacksonville defense," said Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman at the Fox show.
Indeed it was. Henry had 238 yards and four touchdowns in just 17 races while the Titans beat the Jaguars 30 to 9. He averaged 14 yards per run. He joined Tony Dorsett as the only player in NFL history with a 99-yard touchdown.
"I'm with Tony Dorsett, dude," Henry told Fox after the match. "It's a legend."
Henry could have had a fifth touchdown. But with the Titans close to the goal line late in the game, Henry stayed on the sidelines and allowed his team-mate Dion Lewis to remain on the pitch, even as coach Mike Vrabel seemed to urge Henry to return to the match.
"We have to eat both," said Henry. "I want to see him take a touchdown. … the records, they come and go. … we are teammates. That's what teammates do. "
Henry actually returned to the field in time for a third run during which the Jaguars put him out of reach of the end zone, causing a celebration from several members of the Jacksonville defense. The Jaguars defense came to play for a report carried by Henry, four touchdowns too late.
Henry, armed with stiff fists, pioneered his way through Jaguar defensemen in his 99 yards. All night, the fight of the Jaguars was as indifferent as possible. Henry sets a franchise record in one game. He also had the shortest run by an NFL runner in the Super Bowl era to reach at least 200 rushing yards and four touchdowns in a game.
The Jaguars reached last season Title of the AFC before losing little New England, mainly on the power of his powerful defense. Management leaders Tom Coughlin and his coach, Doug Marrone, were rightly celebrated. The Jaguars took a 2-0 start this season, which included a second week win over the Patriots.
But they have lost eight of their last nine games to fall to 4-9. Their decision to stay with Blake Bortles at the quarterback did not produce the expected results. Bortles is now on the bench. And their uncompromising efforts on Thursday night jeopardized the safety of Marrone 's job by some observers, while the Jaguars would have pledged to keep it.
"Everyone at Jax has to leave," agent Blake Baratz wrote on Twitter during the game. "It's not an option. The team had a good year now everyone is playing for themselves. I've watched football enough to know what it looks like. "You do not have to go home, but you have to run out of here."
It became really ugly for the Jaguars, and the winners Thursday night were Henry and the Titans.