NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Derrick Henry put on a show on Thursday night at Nissan Stadium.
And the Titans got another important win – 30-9 over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Henry broke the franchise record for most rushing yards in a game (238) while turning in one of the best individual performances in the stadium’s history. The Titans running back also ran for four touchdowns on just 17 carries. He electrified the crowd with stiff-arms and speed, while wreaking havoc on the Jaguars.
Chris Johnson previously held the single-game total with 228 yards in a game against the Jaguars during the 2009 season.
“I’d probably put this at No.1,” Henry said of his top performances. “But it’s not really about me – it’s about those guys blocking. So credit to them.”
Henry scored on runs of three, 16, 54 and 99 yards as the Titans pulled away in an AFC South battle. The Titans improved to 7-6 with the win. They’ll return to action on December 16 at the New York Giants.
“I’m speechless, man,” Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota said of Henry. “I had a front row seat to it, and it was pretty awesome.”
The game featured one of the most memorable plays in team history -- a 99-yard touchdown run by Henry in the first half.
Henry exploded up the middle on the carry, and then he put his powerful stiff-arm to use. In space, Henry stiff-armed Jaguars cornerback A.J. Bouye, before racing downfield, where he threw Jaguars linebacker Leon Jacobs off of him and to the ground. Further downfield he squared off with Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack, and stiff-armed him away as well before running into the end zone.
“They didn’t want to tackle him – they’re scared of him,” fellow running back Dion Lewis said of Henry, and the Jaguars. “They didn’t want nothing to do with him today. He was on fire. They didn’t want to tackle him, and he was running hard, aggressive, and physical. It was fun to be a part of history.”
The 99-yard touchdown run was only the second in NFL history.
The other: Tony Dorsett’s 99-yard run for the Cowboys back in 1983.
“It’s so crazy, because before we went in the huddle, it was like: You have to go break a 99-yarder,” Henry said with a smile. “My main focus was to get positive yards. When I had the ball, I hit it and my stiff-arms worked. But it started up front with (the offensive line). … Everybody was going crazy. It was a crazy play.”
It was demoralizing for the Jaguars, who dropped to 4-9.
"I've never been a part of a guy running like that," Jaguars safety Tashaun Gipson Jr. said. "I mean, it was like little league out there. Every time he touched the ball, he was scoring, it felt like. ... He could have run for 300 on us today, if we're being honest.
"If I was his coach, I would have let him break the (NFL) record."
Henry’s run gave the Titans a 13-2 lead, and it followed a big goal-line stand by the Titans, who got a big stop from linebacker Rashaan Evans on Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette on a fourth-and-goal from the one.
The run was a sign of more to come for Henry, who owned the night.
On their first possession, the Titans capped a six-play, 73-yard drive with a three-yard touchdown run by Henry, which made it 7-0. The Titans came out flying on defense, too, as safety Kevin Byard ended Jacksonville’s first possession with a sack.
The Titans appeared to be on the verge of adding more points, but Mariota was intercepted when a throw sailed over intended target Tajae Sharpe, and into the arms of Jaguars safety Ronnie Harrison.
Later, disaster struck when return man Cameron Batson muffed a punt, and then was tackled into the end zone for a safety, making it 7-2.
But the game swung back to the Titans on the goal-line stop, and the Henry run that followed.
The Titans added a 33-yard field goal by kicker Ryan Succop to make it 16-2 at the half.
In the third quarter, Henry exploded for a 16-yard touchdown run to make it 23-2.
Henry then busted off a 54-yard touchdown run, which gave the Titans a 30-2 lead and sent Nissan Stadium into a frenzy. The Jaguars scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter to account for the final margin.
The Titans will watch results unfold over the weekend before returning to work next week.
The race for a playoff spot continues. There's work to be done.
“We have to keep stringing these things together, and winning games to give yourself a chance,” Titans coach Mike Vrabel said. “I think there’s a bunch of teams bunched up and hopefully this week there’s some movement.
“But if not, we understand we have to win games. You can’t sit there and hope for a whole bunch of help when there’s five or six teams all bunched together.”
The Tennessee Titans take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 14 of the 2018 season on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018 at Nissan Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)