Tennessee running back Chris Johnson is not playing well. He knows that’s a problem for the Titans.
Johnson’s stat lines in the last four games have gone like this: 15 carries for 21 yards, 10 carries for 17 yards, 12 carries for 33 yards and nine carries for 39 yards. That total — 46 carries for 110 yards, an average of 2.39 yards per carry — would be unacceptable for a third-string scrub, so it’s certainly unacceptable for one of the highest-paid running backs in the NFL. And Johnson says he thinks that if he can’t going, the Titans’ playoff chances are doomed.
“If the running game doesn’t get going, this is going to be another non-playoff team,” Johnson said, via Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean. “But I think we have the players in here to do it, and I think we’re going to be OK.”
Titans coach Mike Munchak said he’d love to get the running game going, but he suggested that running back Shonn Greene may be almost as big a part of it as Johnson. Munchak said he’d like to see Johnson get 20 carries a game and Greene add 15. That’s probably unrealistic; there’s not a single team in the NFL that averages 35 carries a game.
But Johnson is right: If the Titans are going to snap their three-game losing streak, they’re going to need to run the ball better than they have.