Vikings running back Adrian Peterson fell just short of Eric Dickerson’s single-season record of 2,105 yards last season. Now Titans running back Chris Johnson is saying he thinks he can be the one to break Dickerson’s record this season.
Johnson told Andrew Siciliano on NFL Network that he believes he can top the all-time record that Dickerson set in 1984.
“Every running back’s goal is to break that record,” Johnson said. “You want to break the 2,105. I believe I can do it.”
Johnson ran for 2,006 yards in 2009, but he’s been maddeningly inconsistent since then. Last season he had five different games in which he topped 120 yards, but he also had five different games in which he failed to reach 30 yards. (Peterson was never held under 60 yards in any game last year.) If Johnson is going to have any hope of breaking Dickerson’s record, he’s going to need to cut out those too-frequent games when he disappears.
And if Johnson is going to have any hope of breaking Dickerson’s record, he’s also going to need to get a lot of carries, and that may be a problem. Titans coach Mike Munchak told Mike Florio on NBC Sports Network that the Titans may change the way they use Johnson, getting him more touches as a receiver out of the backfield but adding another running back who can carry more of the rushing load, especially in short-yardage situations. If that means Johnson will have fewer carries this season than the 276 he had last season, then it’s pretty much impossible for Johnson to break the record.
But Johnson doesn’t think anything is impossible. He thinks he could be poised to have the greatest season any running back has ever had.