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Derrick Henry in Hall of Fame company with second straight year leading NFL in rushing

Chris Simms takes a look at the odds for Defensive Player of the Year and wonders who could challenge frontrunner T.J. Watt.

Titans running back Derrick Henry will lead the NFL in rushing for the 2020 season, and he’ll do so easily. Henry currently leads the NFL with 1,777 rushing yards, while Vikings running back Dalvin Cook is second at 1,557 yards. Cook will miss Sunday’s season finale, and no one else is even within 700 yards of Henry, so Henry has the rushing lead wrapped up.

Henry also led the NFL in rushing last year, so he now has two straight years as the league leader.

That puts Henry in some very elite company: Since World War II, every player who has led the NFL in rushing for two consecutive years has ended up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The players who have led the NFL in rushing in consecutive years since World War II are:

2019-2020: Derrick Henry.

2006-2007: LaDainian Tomlinson.

1999-2000: Edgerrin James.

1996-1997: Barry Sanders.

1991-1993: Emmitt Smith.

1983-1984: Eric Dickerson.

1978-1980: Earl Campbell.

1972-1973, 1975-1976: O.J. Simpson.

1967-68: Leroy Kelly.

1957-1961, 1963-1965: Jim Brown.

1953-1954: Joe Perry.

1947-1949: Steve Van Buren.

Henry is joining an impressive group.