Like everyone else in his profession, Dalvin Cook can't keep pace with Derrick Henry.
Even the Vikings' do-it-all running back can't find the front seat ahead of Tennessee's durable, ball-hogging behemoth when it comes to the race for the NFL rushing title.
"I see the work Derrick Henry's been putting in and I'm just trying to ease my way in it," Cook said. "He's been putting up some big numbers. I just have to keep running it. I've got some good defenses coming up so I'm going to just keep chipping away at it."
In one fewer game, Cook is second in rushing behind Henry. Cook trails by 180 yards (1,532-1,352) on 24 fewer carries (297-273). Henry still has the better average per carry (5.2-5.0), and both players share the league lead with 14 rushing touchdowns.
Henry is trying to become the 11th player to repeat as NFL rushing champion since the league started keeping track of individual statistics in 1932. Last year, Henry beat Cleveland's Nick Chubb by 46 yards, finishing with league rushing highs in carries (303), yards (1,540) and touchdowns (16). His average per carry was 5.1.
So, yeah, the 6-3, 247-pounder is averaging 5.12 yards on 600 carries over two regular seasons. Throw in his three playoff games last season, and that total actually goes up to 5.15.
"I've just got to try to get somebody to stop him," Cook joked.
Henry is on a comfortable pace to become the first repeat rushing champion since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006-07. The other repeat champions are Edgerrin James (1999-2000), Barry Sanders (1996-97), Emmitt Smith (1991-93), Eric Dickerson (1983-84), Earl Campbell (1978-80), O.J. Simpson (1972-73 and 1975-76), Bill Paschal (1943-44) and Jim Brown, who started his career with a five-year streak (1957-63) and finished it with a three-year streak (1963-65).
Cook will always have Week 3, though. Despite the Vikings' one-point loss to the Titans, Cook ran for 181 yards and a touchdown on just 22 carries (8.23). Henry ran for 119 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries (4.58).
"[Henry] has just taken his game to each level and just keeps elevating it," Cook said. "Keeps getting better, physical."