Derrick Henry and Dalvin Cook are currently locked in a tight battle for the 2020 NFL rushing title. Through 11 weeks, Henry leads Cook by just ten yards – 1,079 to 1,069 – as the Titans star looks to defend his victory from last season. No one else in the league is within 300 yards of those two.
When asked about that individual race on Wednesday, Henry unofficially passed the crown to Cook.
“Dalvin Cook is having a phenomenal season,” Henry said. “Right now, I would say he’s the best back in football. Just week after week, always dominating. Always having a great game. Running the ball, catching the ball. Very explosive.”
Cook has a strong statistical case as the league's top back. While he trails Henry by ten rushing yards, he has played one fewer game and has 28 fewer carries. Cook leads the league with 144.8 yards from scrimmage per game, while Alvin Kamara is second at 117.9 and Henry is just behind him at 116.5.
Those three have been clearly the top running backs in the league this season, in part because Christian McCaffrey and Nick Chubb have missed time due to injury. But with much of Kamara's production coming as a receiver, Henry and Cook stand head and shoulders above the rest of the position as pure rushers.
Henry leads the NFL with six 100-yard rushing games, highlighted by a 212-yard outing against the Texans in October. The Alabama product is hoping to become the first player to win consecutive rushing titles since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006 and 2007.
Cook is second with five 100-yard games (including three over 160), reaching that mark in all but one of his past six fully healthy outings. The Vikings star also paces the league in total touchdowns with 14.
“I love watching him run on film,” Henry said of Cook. “He is doing a great job this year. That guy’s just been incredible the whole year. He runs hard, runs through tackles, makes guys miss. He’s just been balling.”
It's been a monstrous season for Cook, although there's reason to believe the Vikings might be over-working him of late.
The fans are taking notice, too. Cook led all running backs in the first wave of Pro Bowl voting numbers that were released on Wednesday, trailing only Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson among all NFL players.
The race for the rushing title should be a fun subplot to track over the final six weeks of the 2020 season. Cook is on a red-hot pace recently, but Henry has a track record of taking his game to another level late in the year.
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