2. Derrick Henry might no longer be the best RB in the AFC South
This take might be a bit controversial but there are reasons to think Derrick Henry could no longer be the best running back in the NFL or the AFC South. Jonathan Taylor was the league’s rushing leader last year, racking up 1811 yards and 18 trips to the end zone on 332 carries. Moreover, the former Wisconsin Badger isn’t a one-year wonder, as he also logged more than 1,000 rushing yards in his rookie campaign.
But Taylor winning the rushing title in 2021 isn’t the sole reason Henry may not be the top running back in the league. He’s gotten an immense workload over the last three years, 1,021 carries to be exact. Also, he’s coming off an injury that sidelined him for nine games last season. ‘The King’ could very well bounce back in 2022 but based on his usage, there’s an equal chance he might see a decline, not a steep one but still noticeable.
Last season, Henry averaged 4.3 yards per carry, which is still pretty good but was his lowest average since 2017. It’s possible that he will bounce back this upcoming season but there’s an equal chance he will start to decline.
Adrian Peterson went on to lead the NFL in rushing yards and be named MVP just one year after tearing both his MCL and ACL. In the same manner, Frank Gore played 16 seasons. However, most running backs start to see a dip in production when they get close to the 30-year-old mark. Henry, who is 28, will have a chance to prove that he’s the exception to the rule.