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Trying to figure out what's wrong with the Titans running game

The goal for Chris Johnson was 2,500 rushing yards.  The Tennessean even built a nifty application to track his progress.

So far, he’s on pace for 1,416 rushing yards.  That’s not shabby, but his 3.8 yards-per-carry average is 34th in the league, and he’s only recorded 38 receiving yards in four games.

Watch the Titans play, and you constantly see defenders in the backfield.  Johnson is often breaking tackles just to get back to the line of scrimmage.

“I’m running the same,” Johnson said when asked if he’s been as decisive this year.

That may sound like Johnson is redirecting blame, but that’s not the case

“One time the offensive linemen miss a block or one time (I) might
miss a read or not be in the right place, so it is the whole offense,”
Johnson told Jim Wyatt Wednesday.  “It’s a long season and we know we’re going to get better. That is
the wrong thing to do, to start pointing fingers, you start separating
the locker room.”

Still, Johnson is having a hard time adjusting to defenses geared up to stop him.  Johnson told his fantasy owners and fans that he’d have a great October, and that it was just taking him a little time to adjust to eight or nine defenders in the box.

Vince Young needs to start going deep more, and Kenny Britt’s role looks set to increase.  Johnson was hoping for another deep threat though.

Moss would of been a great move for us,” Johnson wrote Wednesday.

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45 Responses to “Trying to figure out what's wrong with the Titans running game”
  1. GRpatriot says: Oct 7, 2010 10:58 AM

    This is an easy one! A. Crumpler isn’t there!

  2. Jose Reyes says: Oct 7, 2010 11:00 AM

    There’s repercussions to losing the best blocking tight end in the league.

  3. Cup says: Oct 7, 2010 11:02 AM

    Hmmmmm… This is sounding more and more like how Willie Parker’s career started to slide. Only Johnson waited an extra year before sliding. Speed only gets you so far in this league, you need a lot more than that. Call up “Fast” Willie, he will tell you what happens…

  4. ItalianStallion says: Oct 7, 2010 11:06 AM

    Wow, now he understand what Adrian Peterson has to deal with every week.

  5. realitypolice says: Oct 7, 2010 11:09 AM

    Having a QB that is no threat to stretch the field and a reciever who can’t catch the deep ball when they do try to go long doesn’t help either.

  6. youboettcha says: Oct 7, 2010 11:10 AM

    @ Cup
    CJ is only in his 3rd year. Get real. Maybe he’d be on pace for 2,000 if Kevin Mawae was there.

  7. riichiie says: Oct 7, 2010 11:13 AM

    This is good news for CJ fantasy owners…I hope he starts to run like he did last year. Luckily I’ve only lost once while he’s been underperforming.

  8. red4skins says: Oct 7, 2010 11:17 AM

    Cup are you implying that at 25, (just turned 25) CJ is losing his speed? Willie Parker is almost 30. those five years are quite a separation for NFL RBs. I don’t think you are very smart.

  9. heyguru says: Oct 7, 2010 11:19 AM

    Top 10 reasons:
    1) No one has to gameplan Vince Young’s arm
    2) No one has to gameplan Vince Young’s arm
    3) No one has to gameplan Vince Young’s arm
    4) No one has to gameplan Vince Young’s arm
    5) No one has to gameplan Vince Young’s arm
    6) No one has to gameplan Vince Young’s arm
    7) No one has to gameplan Vince Young’s arm
    8) No one has to gameplan Vince Young’s arm
    9) No one has to gameplan Vince Young’s arm
    10) Someone once gameplanned Vince Young’s
    arm, realizing only later it had been a mistake.

  10. No-Neck says: Oct 7, 2010 11:23 AM

    To think he could 2,000 yds every year is rediculus. He’s an excellent runner. I’m sure he’ll have his ups and downs just like every other running back in the league. Maybe a little humility will be good for CJ.

  11. Joe says: Oct 7, 2010 11:27 AM

    the problem is they have no passing game. and unless the offensive line dominates the defenses front seven their running game will continue to be mediocre. its all about VINCE, VINCE, VINCE, VINCE…lmao.
    all that damn talking CJ did this off season and an undrafted 2nd year player with 2 previous starts under his belt has out rushed, out rec’d and out played his butt so far this season.
    Arian Foster is the man!!!
    HAHAHA!
    GO TEXANS!
    TITANS SUCK!!!

  12. CarlHess1 says: Oct 7, 2010 11:30 AM

    Cup makes a lot of sense. He isnt a complete weirdo or borderline mentally handicapped either.

  13. FieldySnuts says: Oct 7, 2010 11:35 AM

    Since when was Mercedes Lewis in Tenn? This is what happens when you talk sh!t, you get a big target on your back.

  14. shaggeez says: Oct 7, 2010 11:39 AM

    sure…speed only gets you so far, but willie parker was never the caliber of running back that chris johnson is. the offensive line just isn’t playing at the same level as last year. maybe it’s mawae being gone. maybe its crumpler. i dont really know, but i know that chris johnson is getting the eddie george treatment in tennessee and i hope he is able to get out before his wheels are totally flat. and this is coming from a titans fan. something needs to change. maybe trade for vick after this season (semi-joke)

  15. jrhsd says: Oct 7, 2010 11:40 AM

    notice the mention of Moss as an excuse when Adrian Peterson is already outrushing CJ1.4K by a healthy margin.

  16. kolbe213 says: Oct 7, 2010 11:43 AM

    That Willie Parker comment is ignorant.
    Get some receivers that know how to catch a damn ball and that’s the end of the issue.
    Do the math … eight or nine in the box … and you can’t get a receiver open who can catch a pass. Come on.
    It ain’t rocket science.

  17. JetGreeeen says: Oct 7, 2010 11:43 AM

    I have a few answers:
    1.) Their running game is overrated?
    2.) Their opponents don’t respect Vince Young?
    3.) Duh

  18. lurch's nyquil says: Oct 7, 2010 11:43 AM

    I really dont care what the problem is, I play against CJ this week in fantasy…

  19. GoTitans says: Oct 7, 2010 11:47 AM

    No worries, he is on pace for a fine year. This pace will pick up and we’ll see a great year from CJ and the Titans.

  20. poonhok says: Oct 7, 2010 11:48 AM

    Ummmm, could it be that Vince Young poses no threat and defenses ignore the passing game?

  21. ihateads says: Oct 7, 2010 11:50 AM

    Johnson came from out of nowhere last year. And he’s on his way back there now. Flash in the pan.

  22. clintcooper says: Oct 7, 2010 11:53 AM

    He better pick it up soon. My fantasy team is depending on it. =)

  23. Dapollock says: Oct 7, 2010 11:54 AM

    I’m sure it didn’t help he had a +70 Yarder called back in the Pitts game due to some cheap holding call. Certainly would’ve helped the average.

  24. yem123 says: Oct 7, 2010 11:55 AM

    Re: the last sentence -
    ‘Would HAVE been”…. not “would OF been”
    Yes, it sounds the same when spoken, but aren’t you supposed to be professional writers???

  25. 1nationraidernation says: Oct 7, 2010 12:00 PM

    you need a center if you want to run in this league

  26. Bradysmoker says: Oct 7, 2010 12:01 PM

    All cj needs in a little lane and no 1 is catching him. Youll see as the season goes on ur going to see him breaking long runs cause thats was he does. Every run can be a home run. He was soo good last year because he broke those long runs once a game. Hell be fine he just has to remain the patient back that he is.

  27. Sandra Lee's Cans says: Oct 7, 2010 12:02 PM

    Is it possible they just aren’t as good as they think they are? Or better yet, as good as the media as made them out to be? One guy who can run like the wind doesn’t make a football team good.

  28. sand0 says: Oct 7, 2010 12:06 PM

    They showed a graphic on ESPN that CJ and AP both now see 8+ in the box on 37% of plays and each average under 4 yards per carry in those situations.
    Obviously with 7- in the box AP averages much higher because he is a far superior back. But CJ’s struggles really only amount to him now this season receiving the type of respect that AP has in the past. And he’s struggled as a result.
    He’s not good enough to be productive when given All Day type of respect. He’s just not as good.

  29. jb1996 says: Oct 7, 2010 12:07 PM

    very simple titans need to pass the ball or else the run game will not succeed defenses kno they like to run the ball need to be more balanced or even option plays everybody in the world knows johnson is getting the ball but speed n moves wont help if they blitz to the outside forcing him inside

  30. Manbearpig says: Oct 7, 2010 12:08 PM

    What’s wrong with the Titans running game?
    Chris Johnson is one of the most overrated players in NFL history. Last season was an aberration. He’ll be lucky to break 1,200 this year.
    I thought he was better than Adrian Peterson??? That’s what he, and pretty much all the pundits, including the esteemed master of predictions Rosenthal, said during the offseason. Hmmmmmmmmmm.

  31. kylelicious says: Oct 7, 2010 12:14 PM

    chris johnson is just to small and isn’t good enough

  32. kcfan says: Oct 7, 2010 12:21 PM

    Chris Johnson has Larry Johnson syndrome.. Running the ball too much is bound to take a toll on a guy

  33. MNFANINAZ says: Oct 7, 2010 12:28 PM

    Insignificant player on an insignificant team, racking up insignificant numbers.
    Chris Johnson plays on a JV team…
    Adrian Peterson is the Captain of the varsity team.
    never the tween shall meet.
    Boy.
    MAN.
    Purple Jesus.

  34. 18ALLDAY says: Oct 7, 2010 12:48 PM

    Don’t worry he still gets to play the Colts twice. There’s 1200 yards right there!

  35. mama tried says: Oct 7, 2010 12:49 PM

    Vince young is what is wrong with CJ!! The MF’er can’t throw downfield, therefore all defenders play run stop!!
    quite simple actually!

  36. WarrenMoonGOAT says: Oct 7, 2010 12:57 PM

    kylelicious says:
    October 7, 2010 12:14 PM
    chris johnson is just to small and isn’t good enough
    your a dumbass

  37. JSpicoli says: Oct 7, 2010 1:28 PM

    yem123 says:
    October 7, 2010 11:55 AM
    Re: the last sentence -
    ‘Would HAVE been”…. not “would OF been”
    Yes, it sounds the same when spoken, but aren’t you supposed to be professional writers???
    It was a quote from CJ who is the one slaying the english language, not PFT in this case.

  38. NyJetsTaketheEastin 2010 says: Oct 7, 2010 1:36 PM

    heyguru says:
    October 7, 2010 11:19 AM
    Top 10 reasons:
    1) No one has to gameplan Vince Young’s arm
    2) No one has to gameplan Vince Young’s arm
    3) No one has to gameplan Vince Young’s arm
    4) No one has to gameplan Vince Young’s arm
    5) No one has to gameplan Vince Young’s arm
    6) No one has to gameplan Vince Young’s arm
    7) No one has to gameplan Vince Young’s arm
    8) No one has to gameplan Vince Young’s arm
    9) No one has to gameplan Vince Young’s arm
    10) Someone once gameplanned Vince Young’s
    arm, realizing only later it had been a mistake.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    That about says it all right there…and Mawae being ousted for being the players assoc.spokeman

  39. bhyg says: Oct 7, 2010 1:54 PM

    Alge Crumpler isn’t blocking for him any longer

  40. Stillerfan says: Oct 7, 2010 2:02 PM

    CJ2GAY is past his prime. Beat down after 2 years…2 small…took a hard hit in the Steeler game now he’s done.

  41. Steelmeats says: Oct 7, 2010 2:05 PM

    CJ ran his mouth in the off season and defenses are determined to shut him down

  42. nipperk says: Oct 7, 2010 3:06 PM

    Maybe the Titans’ O-Line arent who we thought they were. And CJ is who we though he was. A fast runner that cant run people over, make people miss – you know, the stuff that AP can do.

  43. clintonrb says: Oct 7, 2010 3:46 PM

    this is ridiculous, 2000 yards is never an aberration or flash ..
    he simply has to adjust to the all day treatment…
    you know who d be better than cj and ap if allowed to actually get twenty carries? Jamaal Charles

  44. HomoforRomo says: Oct 7, 2010 4:05 PM

    No passing threat to keep DB’s back, have to break tackles just to get to the line of scrimmage- welcome to Barry Sanders world, he had this problem every game he played and still got 1500 a year for a decade. Not so easy doing it for more than one year I see.

  45. exactlyright21 says: Oct 8, 2010 1:10 PM

    @clintonrb says:
    “you know who d be better than cj and ap if allowed to actually get twenty carries? Jamaal Charles”
    Uhhh.. I don’t even know how to reply to such a silly comment

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