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Jets’ D: Keep Chris Johnson in front of us because we can’t catch him

New York Jets v Tennessee Titans Getty Images

Titans running back Chris Johnson broke off the longest run of his career, a 94-yard touchdown, in last year’s meeting with the Jets. As the Jets prepare to meet the Titans on Sunday, they want to make sure they don’t see Johnson running full speed in the open field again.

Jets linebacker David Harris says he and his teammates know the key to stopping Johnson is to bottle him up early and keep him from getting into space.

“You have to keep him in front of you,” Harris said. “You can’t let him get outside because no one on this defense is fast enough to catch him from behind. We need 11 guys on this defense running to the ball on every play and the big men up front have to be responsible for their gap.”

So far this season, opposing defenses have been doing a good job of keeping Johnson in front of them. Johnson has gained just 256 yards on 69 carries, an average of 3.7 yards per rush, with a long run of just 23 yards, and no touchdowns. But Harris still thinks the Titans’ running game is a threat.

“They’re a running team,” Harris said. “They have a strong, nasty offensive line. They take after their head coach [Mike Munchak] and offensive line coach [Bruce Mathews], who are two Hall-of-Fame guys. So, if I were them, I’d take after them, too. That’s what they do best and we know that.”

Last year the Jets saw first hand just how hard it is to catch Johnson from behind. They hope there won’t be another play on Sunday when all 11 players on the Jets’ defense are looking at the back of Johnson’s jersey.

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14 Responses to “Jets’ D: Keep Chris Johnson in front of us because we can’t catch him”
  1. doe22us says: Sep 26, 2013 6:21 PM

    You cant hold good players down too long, this guy is due for a breakout.

  2. green41563 says: Sep 26, 2013 6:23 PM

    Chris Johnson is a dime-store Barry Sanders. Every once in a while, he’ll bust you on an 80-yard run, but overall, he’s not an especially good back. Does too much dancing, trying to break 80-yarders, instead of putting his head down and getting what’s there.

  3. EJ says: Sep 26, 2013 6:27 PM

    Chris Johnson is harmless in tight spaces. If the Defensive Lineman do their job and the Linebackers don’t have to cover too much ground they’ll be alright, but if the Corners have to constantly make TD saving tackles its game over. If Chris Johnson starts ripping 7-10 yard runs off then it will put Jake Locker in position to shred that D to no end.

  4. 8to80texansblog says: Sep 26, 2013 6:28 PM

    doe22us says:
    Sep 26, 2013 6:21 PM
    You cant hold good players down too long, this guy is due for a breakout.
    _____________________

    The problem with that statement is that he’s not THAT good. He is a decent back that had a great season. He has been a shell of that player since.

    Blame it on the line, work ethic, whatever… he’s just not CJ2K anymore, and I don’t think he ever will again.

  5. prmpft says: Sep 26, 2013 7:02 PM

    frankly, that is easy enough – if you hit CJOTAY hard enough and with minimal frequency – he will start lookin’ for the softest place to lay down – guaranteed.

  6. peytonsneck18 says: Sep 26, 2013 7:05 PM

    Jake Locker in position to shred that D to no end.

    lmao ya gotta be kiddin me

  7. 4karmel4 says: Sep 26, 2013 8:04 PM

    Harmless in tight spaces? At 3.7 ypc he’s a first down every 3 carries. He’s 2nd in the league in carries and 6th in yds. With a QB who’s still figuring it out. RBs leading the league in rushing have – Mike Vick, Tony Romo, Josh Freeman, Cam Newton. Teams with veteran QBs or young QBs with exp and proven talent around them. Give the Titans a few more games and then lets talk. CJs has done whats asked of him. He rarely loses yards and yes…he’s looking for the homerun. HE’S SUPPOSE TO! And those saying he cant take hit obviously aren’t watching football. Dude has been lauded for his pass protection and never shies away from contact. Stop the ignorant hating. If you dont like him…dont like em. But be smart about it…plz

  8. bigdogbob says: Sep 26, 2013 8:09 PM

    Chris Johnson is not the best back in history, or even in the game today. There is not argument there. But to say CJ is just not that good is just plain stupid. He is on pace to have his 6th straight 1,000 yard season in what is now a passing league. He is 6th in the league right now in yards for this season after playing both Pittsburgh and Houston who are both only allowing 3.3 Yards per carry to backs. He is one of only a handful of backs to ever rush for 2,000 yards in a season. Teams are absolutely stacking the box this season to stop him because he is the only player on that offense that scares the defense. Once he plays against a couple of softer defenses (as he did against the Chargers where he ran for 4.7 yards per carry) his average will come up. So all this talk about him not being that good is just dumb.

  9. titansbro says: Sep 26, 2013 8:38 PM

    For some reason people just hate CJ. Maybe it’s his hair & golf teeth, I don’t know. What I do know if the guy has not a shred of dirt in his background while fan fave AP fights cops, drives recklessly, & thinks he’s s $10 mil a year slave. Is AP better? Of course. But why all the hate for CJ?

  10. patssmelllikepoo says: Sep 26, 2013 9:39 PM

    If Chris Johnson starts ripping 7-10 yard runs off then it will put Jake Locker in position to shred that D to no end.
    —————-

    That is honestly the funniest thing I have seen since Eddie Murphy Raw……. Jake Locker shredding a D.

  11. dodohead418 says: Sep 26, 2013 11:35 PM

    It is obvious that Chris Johnson does not run with the same explosiveness that he did when he first joined the league and that probably because of the successful holdout sadly, but even with that he is still a great back!

  12. green41563 says: Sep 27, 2013 12:35 AM

    bigdogbob says: Sep 26, 2013 8:09 PM

    Chris Johnson is not the best back in history, or even in the game today. There is not argument there. But to say CJ is just not that good is just plain stupid. He is on pace to have his 6th straight 1,000 yard season in what is now a passing league.
    _________________________________

    Contrary to popular opinion, the increased role of the passing game has made running the ball easier, not harder because defenses are less able to stack the box and more inclined toward nickel packages. So a 1,000-yard rushing season is actually less impressive now than in the past, when defenses expended more effort to stop the run.

    And this is not speculation. If you look at the average-yards per carry across the league, you’ll note that it has increased considerably from years ago. For example:

    1993: 3.9
    1994: 3.7
    1995: 3.9
    1996: 3.8
    1997: 4.0

    2008: 4.2
    2009: 4.2
    2010: 4.2
    2011: 4.3
    2012: 4.3

    These differences might not jump off the page, but over the course of the roughly 14,000 rushing attempts in the NFL every year, they represent a very big difference.

  13. realestwhiteboy says: Sep 27, 2013 1:06 PM

    Because CJ didn’t rip off a 2nd 2,000 yd season, people pretend like he isn’t good. He has more long-distance TD runs than anyone in league history. He is one of 7 players to ever go over 2,000 yds. And he would’ve had the single season record, except for a 1st half holding call on FB Hall that nullified a 60+ yd TD that nobody has been able to identify where the hold is to this day.

    People forget that his rookie season LenDale White got over 35% of the carries and nearly 800 yds.

    He’s 166 yds from going into the top 50 all time rushers in history, and he’s only 27.

    He’s credited as being one of the better blitz pick-up backs in the league.

    Through the first 6 seasons of a career, he is #19 all time, and he still has 13 games left to climb that list. (Thus far, he has been in the top 10 on these all-time seasonal lists every year, excluding his rookie year when he was sharing carries)

    He is averaging over 85 yds a game. 1,000 yds was a mark to measure a RB when there was a 14 game season, that’s 71 yds a game. He’s averaging better than the traditional bench mark, and it’s a passing league, now.

    We don’t need him to dig in and get the tough yardage, that is why we signed Battle and Greene. That’s why we use to have White. He’s not a power back. Pointing that out is like pointing out that gold is golden … duh.

    He keeps pace with all the marks set by the guys we all agree are “elite” or “great”, but nobody wants to label him with these, they don’t even want to label him “good”. He’s always been good, and he’s starting to put together the foundation of whatever his legacy will be (beyond a 2,000 yd season), he’s just been on bad rosters. Now, he has talent around him at WR and TE, he has talent infront of him on the Oline, and he has a top 10 defense. It’s just up to Jake Locker to protect the ball and convert when he’s called up to decide how far this ship goes over the next few years.

  14. flipola says: Sep 27, 2013 3:06 PM

    CJ just isn’t being used properly. When he got 2,000, he did a lot on the outside. Last year, he pretty just ran up the middle. They need more creative play-calling.

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