Another terrible game for Chris Johnson hurts Titans’ playoff chances


When Texans quarterback Matt Schaub suffered a serious foot injury, it appeared to give life to the Titans: Tennessee is second to Houston in the AFC South, and if the Texans are going to falter without their star quarterback, the Titans could capitalize.

But the problem is that for that scenario to play out, the Titans will have to win some games of their own. And their own star offensive player isn’t giving them any help on that front.

Running back Chris Johnson turned in another stinker of a game for the Titans at Atlanta, with 12 carries for 13 yards, and the Falcons earned a 23-17 win. The loss drops the Titans to 5-5, two games behind the Texans.

Let’s not mince words here: Johnson is horrible. We’re now 10 games into the season, and we’ve seen enough to say that it’s not just that Johnson is off to a slow start because of the lockout and his contract holdout. Johnson entered today’s game averaging 3.4 yards a carry, which ranked him dead last among the 34 NFL players with at least 80 rushing attempts this season. Now his average is down to 3.2 yards a carry.

The good news for the Titans was that after rookie quarterback Jake Locker came in for an injured Matt Hasselbeck, the offense started moving. Locker completed nine of 19 passes for 140 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

But the bad news is that the Titans were already in a 23-3 hole when Locker got on the field, and the biggest reason they had only scored three points was that Johnson couldn’t do anything. With even competent play from their running back, the Titans might have won this game.

The Titans didn’t get competent play, however, and so the Falcons get the win and remain in good shape in both the NFC South race and the NFC wild card race. The same can’t be said for the Titans. No matter how much the loss of Schaub hurts the Texans, Tennessee just isn’t going to catch Houston. Certainly not if they keep getting 12-carry, 13-yard games from Johnson.

29 responses to “Another terrible game for Chris Johnson hurts Titans’ playoff chances

  1. They should stick with Hass. He’s played well most of the year. Locker did provide a spark but it’ll be different when defenses are actually preparing him to start. I’d stick with Hass.

  2. what have i done screaming at my TV so loud because i wanted atlanta to win oh i hope i dont sell my house now because i got so nervous because tennessee was coming back oh man what i have done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Didn’t help that the defense was gashed for big play after big play. Could not run or pass on offense, couldn’t stop the run or pass on defense. It’s amazing the final score was as close as it was. Misleadingly close.

  4. Regardless, how was this going to happen? Houston’s already 3-0 in the division and demolished the Titans in Tennessee. Easier schedule notwithstanding, the Texans losing Schaub doesn’t cause the Titans to close a 34 point gap Week 17, in Houston of course.

  5. “Didn’t help that the defense was gashed for big play after big play. Could not run or pass on offense, couldn’t stop the run or pass on defense. It’s amazing the final score was as close as it was. Misleadingly close.”

    Agreed, Atlanta scored 1 redzone td in 5 tries. Not good enough… period! Their defense played very well against the run, and vs. the pass until Locker got in there. They’re one of the most frustrating teams because at times they are lights out and within the same game they become way too plodding and conservative. Hopefully Mularkey still realizes Harry Douglas is on the team when Julio comes back.

  6. Chris Johnson may have entered the season out of shape due to his holdout but his lack of production is not entirely on him. His interior offensive line has played terrible and have opened no holes that I’ve seen. Also, the lack of Vince Young as a running threat behind center means teams no longer have to keep backside DEs wide to contain him and that tightens the running lanes again. Johnson can’t take advantage of his speed when there’s no holes. Locker’s athleticism should help out the run game as well as provide hope for the future and inspire some veterans to work harder….if he can play anywhere near as well as he played today that is….

  7. Hahaha! I love being right! CJ was not worth the money. Also, Bud Adams doesn’t care for CJ’s work ethic and the way his contract is set up if they cut CJ at the end of the season they’ll save $17 million. 496 rushing yards and 2 TD’s by week 11? Yeah that’s worth playmaker money! haha. So the question is, what team will make a run at CJ in the off season?

  8. Not enough has been said about the terrible year from Johnson. Its had an effect on every single RB’s contract situation too. No one is going to be in a rush to give a RB a big deal after seeing the complete waste that this guy now is.

  9. Seriously, 13 yards?????

    On TWELVE carries???????

    I’d be too embarrassed to cash that paycheck.

    Earl Campbell could do better than that TODAY!

  10. I’m not a Johnson fan and personally I can’t stand the way he went about getting a new contract.

    Having said that, if you look at the titans run game, it’s very predictable. If my six year old daughter can recognize the run formation of the titans, I’m pretty sure opposing teams can see it too.

    Reminds me of jimmy raye’s offense last year. People were asking what was wrong with gore. The formations and play calling were too predictable. Look what the niners are doing this year with the same personnel.

    Johnson’s at fault too but he’s not even close to being fully responsible.

  11. CJ, CJ….I know you got paid, but damn- don’t you have even a sliver of self respect?? JaVon Ringer has much more success running behind the same offensive line that is supposedly to blame for CJ sucking so bad. Bench his selfish, lazy rear end.
    This was a pretty good bye week for my Texans….the lowly Browns beat the Jaguars and the Falcons took care of business vs the Titans.
    Now, if they can make sure Matt Leinart is ready to hand the ball off to Arian Foster and Ben Tate…

  12. CJ only got a $10 million signing bonus. There is no roster bonus next year, just an $8 million base with additional incentives worth less than a million. The base doesn’t get guaranteed until after the season starts (according to

    Titans did well not to invest too much guaranteed money in him. He could get traded next year, but I doubt Titans will release him to save $8 million.

  13. AFC South still up for grabs, Matty H?

    Next week, the Texans will beat the Jags, and the Bucs will take care of the Titans.

    Then we’ll have:

    Houston 8-3
    Tennessee 5-6
    Jacksonville 3-8
    Indy 0-11

  14. CJ pulled a full up Haynesworth and fooled the Titans into giving him $1M plus per game this year… these idiots need to get paid WHEN they do something… not when they SAY they can do something.

  15. “Let’s not mince words here: Johnson is horrible.”

    Hahahahaha! I love it! It serves him right for being such an arrogant, selfish jerk. The only part that makes me sad is that I don’t think he’s smart enough to figure out that he’s no good. He’ll keep blaming everyone else first and keep talking about how great he is. BUST.

  16. With Kevin Smith performing like a man who wants the ball today against Carolina it’s hard to point to the lockout as an issue for CJ.
    The Haynesworth comparison is apt. If its easy, CJ is all about it; work a little bit, no thanks.

  17. Why aren’t there post and comments about Ryan Fitzpatrick. Yeah he was in camp on time and didn’t hold out but he got a pay day and I can play better than what he’s been doing

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