Has Chris Johnson hit the wall?

Nov 17, 2008

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI

That’s the million-dollar question.  After tearing up the league in his first eight games with 879 total yards (715 rushing, 164 receiving) and 6 TDs (5 rushing) Johnson figuratively ran into a wall in Week 10 when he faced the Bears.  They held him to 8 yards on 14 carries with an additional 15 yards on two receptions.  He followed that dismal performance up with a mediocre 64 yards on 17 carries with 24 yards on four catches vs. Jacksonville.  Prior to those games he had only been held below 74 rushing yards once, but he scored 2 TDs that game.

Will the slump continue?  Yes and No.  He will likely struggle this week when he faces a fierce Jets Run D.  They are fourth in the league in rushing yards allowed at 81.3 yards with an average of 3.4 yards per carry. Additionally, they have only allowed seven rushing TDs.  The NFL is a copycat league and the Titans have been pressed the most the past couple of weeks when their ground game was limited.  Their opponents have been trying to take away the Titans’ rushing attack, forcing Kerry Collins to beat them with his arm.  It is no coincidence Collins’ best performances have come as Johnson has struggled.  Collins recent strong play will garner the Jets’ attention, but their game plan will be to stop Johnson and LenDale White.

The road gets much smoother the next three weeks for Johnson and the Titans.  He goes against Detroit, Cleveland, and Houston.  Detroit has surpassed Kansas City as the worst run D at 171.5 yards per game, and have allowed 17 rushing TDs.  Cleveland (145.2 ypg prior to Monday Night’s contest against Buffalo) and Houston (132.5 ypg) are in the bottom quarter of the league in Run D.  So Johnson should get his mojo back heading into the Fantasy Super Bowl (Week 16).  He does face a stiff matchup that week against the Steelers (first in the league with 68.9 ypg) so you might want to have an alternative for the biggest game of the year.  If you are in a league that plays all 17 weeks, Johnson finishes up with a nice matchup with Indianapolis (138.5 ypg). 

To answer the question, I do not think he hit a wall.  Teams have altered their defensive scheme in an attempt to slow the rushing attack to hand the Titans their first loss.  Like any good team the Titans have adjusted.  Johnson has two more games in which he could struggle, but he has four games left against teams who just don’t have the personnel to slow him down.  Look for Johnson to keep on churning.

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19 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. CK0712
    November 17th, 2008 at 9:47 am #

    Chris can hit all the walls he wants, right now that team is flyin high & i’m pretty excited about that. i hope they go all the way to tampa!!

  2. CK0712
    November 17th, 2008 at 9:48 am #

    BTW that picture of him is just badass!!

  3. LestersLegends
    November 17th, 2008 at 10:10 am #

    If the Pats can’t do it, I would like to see the Titans win it all and kill the dreams of those 73 Dolphins.

  4. CK0712
    November 17th, 2008 at 10:25 am #

    who would u call to play them in Tampa if the titans go to the bowl?

    the way things are looking now, could very well be the giants again.

  5. LestersLegends
    November 17th, 2008 at 10:27 am #

    I would have to say the G-Men at this point. That would be a good game. Not one for the casual fan as it would be low scoring, but good hard-nose football.

  6. CK0712
    November 17th, 2008 at 11:17 am #

    HA! my thoughts exactly. :)

  7. Rad
    November 17th, 2008 at 12:08 pm #

    Ryan, nice post man and Ia gree with Cindy that the picture is sick dude. Of course I’d have to say the Cowboys would come out of the NFC, but the way Giants beat down Baltimore, man they look tough. And funny you mention the Dolphins, I just wrote today about hos annoying they are. That was before I read this, honest. We’re on the same wavelength bro.

  8. LestersLegends
    November 17th, 2008 at 12:10 pm #

    They left a bad taste in my mouth last year spouting off about the Pats. Tennessee doesn’t have any bad pub like the Pats had so it would be legit.

  9. Rad
    November 17th, 2008 at 1:03 pm #

    I wonder how Vince Young feels now that the team he was supposed to “save” is now undefeated with him on the bench. I put up his TD run to win the Rose Bowl vs USC (featured video) just to remember the good ‘ole days. I actually had thought of drafting him in fantasy football as a sleeper backup QB.

  10. LestersLegends
    November 17th, 2008 at 1:05 pm #

    I feel bad for VY. I like him too. He could still get his stuff together hopefully.

  11. CK0712
    November 17th, 2008 at 1:07 pm #

    Vince is doing just fine, he’s learning like McNair did, on the bench. He’s got the makings of a solid QB!

  12. LestersLegends
    November 17th, 2008 at 1:08 pm #

    I hope you’re right CK.

  13. CK0712
    November 17th, 2008 at 1:13 pm #

    he was tossed too soon, to the wolves. unlike Matty & Joe, he couldn’t swim once he hit the water. i honestly think, he’s gonna be solid. i did an indepth write up on him a while ago, lord only knows what page it’s on by now. if i can find it, i’ll email it to ya.

  14. LestersLegends
    November 17th, 2008 at 1:14 pm #

    Plus they won early which put the expectations on him higher than if he struggled out of the gate.

  15. CK0712
    November 17th, 2008 at 1:16 pm #

    Indeed!!! i found it & it’s in your inbin :)

  16. Rad
    November 17th, 2008 at 1:52 pm #

    Cindy, can I get a copy? I’d like to read it too if you’d be so kind. I think the difference with him and McNair is that McNair started on the bench and learned from Chris Chandler. They let Young try and fail hard, so now his confidence is shot. Hopefully he takes it as a learning experience and keeps moving forward. I really like him and I think with the right attention he could be a right-armed Steve Young type. Let’s wish him luck.

  17. Rad
    November 17th, 2008 at 1:53 pm #

    I wanted to add that I agree with Ryan, the expectation made things harder for him this year. Plus he was on the Madden ’08 cover so something was bound to happen.

  18. CK0712
    November 17th, 2008 at 6:26 pm #

    u got it 2 x’s LMAO! no problem & of course. Vince is a hobby with me, my weakness.

  19. LestersLegends
    November 17th, 2008 at 9:37 pm #

    that’s OK CK.

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