Crimson Tide in the NFL: Week 8

Tzali Nislick, Contributing Writer

Week 8 of the NFL season was packed with offensive explosions from many former Alabama players. Derrick Henry (2013-2015) did his usual thing against the Texans, while a pair of quarterbacks rolled to big wins. Let’s look at all of that and more in this week’s edition of Crimson Tide in the NFL. 

Player of the Week: Derrick Henry 

Henry flat out owns the Houston Texans. He ran all over them for 219 yards and two touchdowns on 32 attempts. Despite the high volume, it was his most efficient outing of the season, going for 6.8 yards per carry. Yes, he was unstoppable on Sunday, but this is becoming a common occurrence for the two-time NFL rushing champion.  

This was Henry’s fourth consecutive game against the Texans in which he ran for 200 yards and two touchdowns. He became the first running back in NFL history to run for 150 yards and multiple scores in four straight games against the same opponent, and he tied Eddie George for the most consecutive games with two touchdowns against the same team.  

Henry now leads the league in carries and rushing yards per game, two categories he is on pace to lead for the third time in four years. The Titans and Texans play again on Christmas Eve, with “The King” looking to spoil Houston’s holidays for a fifth game in a row.  

Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts stay hot 

If it weren’t for Henry’s historic day, Tua Tagovailoa (2017-2019) would’ve easily found himself in the Player of the Week section. He too, had his most efficient game of the year, completing 80.6% of his passes and earning a career-best 138.7 passer rating. He threw for 382 yards and three scores. Two of them went to Jaylen Waddle (2018-2020) who went for eight catches, 106 yards and two touchdowns. Tagovailoa’s 2022 campaign has really flown under the radar, with the MVP conversation focused on Josh Allen and Jalen Hurts. But Tagovailoa is 5-1 as a starter this year and leads the NFL in passer rating and QBR. He is on pace for 4,754 passing yards, 34 touchdowns and nine interceptions over 17 games, while ranking third in completion percentage. Give him his flowers. 

Jalen Hurts (2016-2018) continued his epic season, torching the Steelers’ secondary for 285 yards and four touchdowns on just 28 pass attempts. He and the Philadelphia Eagles remain the only unbeaten team in the NFL at 7-0.  

Defense Steps Up 

A number of players on the defensive side of the ball made their typical impacts as well. The Washington Commanders’ one-two punch of Jonathan Allen (2013-2016) and Daron Payne (2015-2017) combined for 13 tackles, one sack, three tackles for loss, one quarterback hit and one fumble recovery.  

The New York Jets’ duo of Quinnen Williams (2016-2018) and C.J. Mosley (2010-2013) combined for 20 tackles, three tackles for loss and one pass deflection. 

Eddie Jackson (2013-2016) matched his career-high with 11 tackles to go along with a pass deflection and his league-leading fourth interception of the season.  

Rashaan Evans (2014-2017) accumulated nine tackles, one sack, one tackle for loss and one quarterback hit in a thrilling Falcons overtime victory over the Carolina Panthers. 

Looking Ahead 

The Monday Night Football game features the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns. The Bengals have Jonah Williams (2016-2018), and the Browns have Amari Cooper (2012-2014), Jedrick Wills Jr. (2017-2019) and Ronnie Harrison (2015-2017). 

Questions or comments? Email Austin Hannon (Sports Editor) at [email protected]