Tennessee Titans

Chris Johnson and the NFL's 5 Best Home-Run Hitters

Chris Johnson ran for 119 yards and a touchdown on Monday night.
Chris Johnson ran for 119 yards and a touchdown on Monday night.Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Jamal CollierAnalyst IIIDecember 18, 2012

Chris Johnson is the most prolific home-run rusher in the NFL. Nobody in the league has converted more touchdown runs of 80 yards or longer than the Tennessee Titansdreadlocked wonder—Johnson’s actually got twice as many as anyone else.

Chris Johnson has an NFL record 6 career TD runs of 80+ yds. No other active player has more than 3

—ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 18, 2012

Johnson’s 94-yard sprint was the longest run of any player in the NFL this season and the longest of his five-year career. Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles’ longest run in 2012 (also his career high) was 91 yards—the same distance as Johnson’s previous career-best distance.

Charles also has two 80-yard runs to his credit.

The other rusher with three 80-yard TD scampers on his resume, the Minnesota VikingsAdrian Peterson, also threatens to score from anywhere on the field. He’s twice run for 82 yards on a single carry this season and had a carry of 80 yards two seasons ago. C.J. Spiller of the Buffalo Bills is known as a home-run hitter with his league-leading (for running backs) 6.5 yards per carry, but the longest run of his career is 56 yards.

He’s never had a backfield largely to himself for a full season like the others have—so the potential to do long-range damage hasn’t necessarily been presented as often to Spiller. He’s got 11 20-plus yard rushes this season, second to Peterson’s 20.

The best home-run hitter at the quarterback position is arguably a toss-up between a rookie and sophomore player: Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins and Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers. Griffin’s 6.7 yards per carry is the best mark in the NFL, and it’s no fluke.

RG3 has rushed 112 times for 748 yards and six touchdowns with a long run of 76 yards. Newton has run 108 times for 647 yards and seven touchdowns. His longest carry went for 72. While Griffin holds the edge in the longer of the two runs, Cam has run more times for 20-plus yards (eight) than Griffin (six) this year.

Both QBs have big arms too, which allow them to hit homers in the passing game as well. 

 

For more NFL analysis, follow Jamal on Twitter

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