Chris Johnson's Resurgence a Sign of Things to Come or Aberration?

Jamal CollierAnalyst IIIOctober 22, 2012

BUFFALO, NY - OCTOBER 21: Chris Johnson #28 of the Tennessee Titans rushes during an NFL game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on October 21, 2012 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Chris Johnson romped through the Buffalo Bills defense on Sunday to the tune of 198 total yards and two touchdowns in the Tennessee Titans35-34 win. We’ve probably just seen his best game of the season, but he should still be able to piece together some 100-yard performances in 2012.

The Bills' run defense had been horrendous for the first six weeks of the season, allowing 1,024 total yards (817 rushing) and eight touchdowns (seven rushing) to running backs in its first six games—so it was expected that Johnson would have a big day.

Johnson himself probably even saw it coming: “I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad game against them,” he told the Associated Press. He went into Sunday’s matchup averaging 142.5 rushing yards and two touchdowns per game against the Bills.

It didn't take long for the Titans to figure out their advantage. Johnson gained 105 yards and scored twice on five carries (which included an 83-yard touchdown) in the first quarter.

Johnson said to the Associated Press that he had been “waiting for [a big run] for a while” and that “I don’t think I went 80 yards in like two years, so it feels good.”

It’s actually been longer than that.

Johnson’s last run of 80 yards or longer was an 85-yard sprint which took place in Week 12 of his magical 2009 season against the Arizona Cardinals—44 games ago for the Titans' rusher.

That’s almost three years.

Breaking that drought was a very encouraging sign for Johnson. On his touchdown runs, he looked quick, decisive, explosive, aware and fast.

That’s the runner that fantasy owners thought they drafted when Johnson’s name came off their fantasy draft boards.

Johnson should still be highly productive in Week 8 when he faces an Indianapolis Colts defense that has allowed 826 total yards and eight touchdowns to running backs in six games this year; numbers that are only marginally better than the Bills’ first six games.

The real test of whether CJ2K is back comes in Week 9 when the Chicago Bears pay a visit.

Chicago has given up 279 total rushing yards to running backs this season, 84 more than Johnson racked up in Week 7 alone.

Keeping Johnson on your fantasy roster—since buying low on him is now out of the question—depends on whether you can withstand sitting him for his matchups with the Bears and (perhaps) the Miami Dolphins.

The remainder of his schedule only gets better after that.