After rushing for 2,006 yards in 2009, Titans running back Chris Johnson started boasting that he could go for 2,500 in 2010. In reality, Johnson ended up with 1,364 yards last season.
But coming up short by 1,136 yards hasn’t shut Johnson up.
“I have the same goal: 2,500,” Johnson told Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean. “I want to win more, but I still have the same goals. I want to go for 2,500. . . . It is very realistic. I had a good season last year. I know a lot of people said I didn’t have a good year, but I did. When you put the stats up there, I had a good year. Some people say I had a bad year, but I set my standards so high people expect that.’’
Give Johnson points for self-confidence, but he’s wrong. Gaining 2,500 yards is not “very realistic.” It’s virtually impossible.
Johnson has averaged 97.8 yards a game in his three-year career. To gain 2,500 yards in a season, he’d need to average 157 yards a game. He’s simply not going to do that. In 48 career games, Johnson has reached 157 yards exactly three times. He’s been held under 35 yards more times than he’s reached 157 yards.
But if Johnson really wants 2,500 yards in a season, there’s one thing he can do: Persuade the players’ union to give in to the owners’ demands on an 18-game season. Just as O.J. Simpson’s record of 2,003 yards in a season wouldn’t have been broken if the NFL hadn’t expanded from 14 games to 16, Johnson isn’t going to get to 2,500 yards unless the NFL expands from 16 games to 18. Maybe Roger Goodell needs to make that pitch to the handful of players who are as obsessed with their stats as Johnson.