Derrick Henry’s 2019 postseason is now part of NFL history.
On a four-yard run during the third quarter of Sunday’s AFC Championship Game, Henry broke John Riggins’ 37-year-old record for the most rushing yards during a single playoff run (not including the Super Bowl). Henry, the Titans‘ All-Pro running back, entered Sunday’s game with 377 rushing yards after rushing for 182 yards against the Patriots in the wild-card round and 195 yards against the Ravens in the divisional round. Henry’s playoff success comes after the four-year veteran led the NFL with 1,540 rushing yards during the regular season.
Riggins, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, rushed for 444 yards during Washington’s three playoff victories en route to an appearance in Super Bowl XVII. Riggins, who rushed for 553 yards during the strike-shortened 1982 regular season, rushed for 119 yards in Washington’s first round victory over Detroit before rushing for 185 yards against the Vikings in the second round and 140 yards against the Cowboys in the NFC Championship Game.
In Super Bowl XVII, Riggins capped off his record-setting postseason by rushing for 166 yards and a touchdown on 38 carries in Washington’s 27-17 victory over Don Shula’s Dolphins. Riggins’ greatest moment came in the second half of that game. With Washington, trailing 17-13 late in the second half, facing a fourth and one on the Dolphins’ 42-yard-line, Riggins broke cornerback Don McNeal’s tackle and raced down the far sideline for the game-winning score.
Riggins, who captured league MVP honors the following season, finished the postseason with 610 rushing yards, a record that still stands.
On Sunday, Henry also passed former Broncos Hall of Fame running back Terrell Davis, who rushed for 424 yards during Denver’s improbable run to Super Bowl XXXII. Davis capped off his sterling postseason by rushing for 157 yards and three touchdowns and earning Super Bowl MVP honors in the Broncos’ 31-24 win over the Packers. The next season, Davis, who was named league MVP in 1998, rushed for a combined 2,476 yards during the regular season and postseason, a record that still stands.
Following his breakout regular season, Henry has only added to his 2019 success during the the Titans’ postseason run. He has also significantly increased his market value, as Henry is slated to become a free agent during the 2020 offseason.