Buying or Selling Titans RB Chris Johnson's First Breakout Game of 2012
Johnson has had a rough time in the NFL since holding out for a new contract. The man who once rushed for over 2,000 yards in a season has steadily regressed since that spectacular performance.
While the Titans lost 38-14 to the Texans, it had to be reassuring for the front office and Titans fans to see Johnson finally put together a solid game. But will it continue?
The Story so Far for CJ
Johnson has been the brunt of most jokes concerning the NFL so far in 2012, and for good reason. Entering the matchup with the Texans, Johnson had 33 rushes for 45 yards and no scores.
He was averaging 1.4 yards per carry.
For someone making so much money, there were rumblings that the Titans could move on from Johnson thanks to his inability to produce and his ridiculous financial number.
Still, there were those in the Titans organization that felt Johnson could turn things around. One believer was running back coach Jim Skipper (via NFL.com):
All of the sudden, the batter hasn’t hit a home run in 25 at-bats and now everybody’s counting how many at-bats he’s gone since he hit a homer. What you gotta do is just relax and eventually, things will start happening. All you gotta do is be yourself and good things will happen and just stay positive.
Skipper was right to have faith in the struggling running back as Johnson would turn in a huge performance against the Texans.
The Breakout Game vs. the Texans
Johnson exploded for the Titans against the Texans, rushing for 141 yards on 25 carries, but was unable to find the end zone while his team was blown out. It was his first 100-yard rushing game since Week 13 of last season.
Overall Johnson simply looked more patient than in the previous three weeks, waiting for holes to open up before attempting to hit a home run. Johnson was utilizing what was given to him instead of trying to take it to the house on every play.
It also helps that the run-blocking in front of Johnson was much better than in weeks past. He also received more carries than he had in the first three weeks of the season.
What is concerning is how badly the Titans lost despite Johnson's great performance, but if he can keep playing at this level the wins have to start coming.
What is most encouraging about Johnson's performance is that he managed to do it against the elite defensive unit fielded by the Texans, which could potentially be the best in the NFL.
Buy or Sell?
The question now becomes if we are truly believing that Johnson can keep up this level of production each week for the rest of the season.
Are you buying or selling Chris Johnson's breakout game?
All signs point to Johnson being able to keep up this play as the season progresses from this point. Tennessee had a difficult starting schedule, which can explain why he and the offensive line were struggling so much in the first few weeks.
Johnson appears to have figured things out. His patience will continue to pay off and eventually lead to victories.
For now, we're buying Chris Johnson's breakout game.
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