November is the defense’s turn. If form holds, that is.
Running back Derrick Henry was named AFC Offensive Player of the Month for October on Thursday, which makes the Tennessee Titans one of two teams to have a player earn one of the NFL’s awards in each of the season’s first two months.
Kicker Stephen Gostkowski was the AFC Special Teams Player of the Month for September.
That makes this season the first since 1993 that the franchise has had multiple Players of the Month. Then, as the Houston Oilers, running back Gary Brown and kicker Al Del Greco were named AFC Offense and Special Teams Player of the Month, respectively, in November and cornerback Cris Dishman was named AFC Defensive Player of the Month in December.
Tampa Bay, with quarterback To Brady (NFC Offense, October) and linebacker Lavonte David (NFC Defense, September) is the only other franchise to claim two monthly awards this season.
Henry rushed for 344 yards in three games, an average of 114.7 yards per outing in October. He also scored at least one rushing touchdown in all three contests and five in all. As a receiver, he caught five passes for 55 yards.
His 212 yards rushing against Houston on Oct. 18 is this season’s best individual rushing performance to date. In that game, he scored on a 94-yard run and ended it with a 5-yard touchdown run in overtime. His 53-yard reception in the extra period led to the game-winning score.
Additionally, he ran for 57 yards and one touchdown against Buffalo and 75 yards and two touchdowns against Pittsburgh. With 663 yards though six games, Henry is the NFL’s leading rusher.
Henry is the only non-quarterback named Player of the Month in the AFC or NFC this season, and the first non-quarterback named the AFC’s top player for a month since December 2018 – when Henry did it. Quarterbacks, including Tennessee’s Ryan Tannehill (December 2019) had won the previous five.