Titans' Chris Johnson Running Away with MVP Award
No, I am not talking about Adrian Peterson. I am talking about Chris Johnson. Pound for pound, Johnson has accomplished as much, if not more, than Adrian Peterson.
As it stands today, Chris Johnson is doing something that no other running back has done since Mercury Morris did it for the Dolphins in 1973—average at least 6.7 yards per carry.
The fact of the matter is that the Tennessee Titans, as dreadful as their season has been, are in the midst of a season like no other from their starting running back.
Johnson also leads the NFL with 959 rushing yards. The next best is Cincinnati's Cedric Benson with 122-yards less than Johnson.
If that weren't impressive enough, Johnson has accomplished these feats with opposing defenses keying in on him, trying to prevent him from success through the ground game. Since the Titans have been one-dimensional basically all season, the lack of a passing game still has not hurt Johnson's production obviously.
A debate could rage on as to why Peyton Manning and Drew Brees are deserving of the offensive MVP award as well but the cake has to go to Johnson.
Johnson can compare to Barry Sanders because Sanders was usually mentioned among the offensive MVP candidates despite playing for a team that lost more than they won in Detroit.
Johnson's effective running skills only complement what he can do as a receiver. He already has 21 receptions for 162 yards.
At the rate Johnson is going, he will finish the season with 1,918 rushing yards, 324 receiving yards, and 14 touchdowns. Since 1985, only three running backs have rushed for that many yards or more in a single season—Jamal Lewis (2003), Terrell Davis (1998), and Barry Sanders (1997).
The argument will be made though that if you take Peyton Manning or Drew Brees off of their respective teams, those teams will not perform as well as they have or will with the aforementioned quarterbacks behind center.
While that is true, the fact of the matter lies in that the award is given to the player that is most valuable in the league for that year. An argument could be then given, in any year, that Peyton Manning or Drew Brees or Tom Brady, etc., should be the MVP.
The problem is that that the media is too quick to give the award to a quarterback.
Chris Johnson is running past everyone at his position in Usain Bolt-like action, while putting up numbers far superior rushing-wise as compared to what Manning and Brees are doing passing the ball.
Neither Manning or Brees lead the NFL in passing yards. Brees is tied with Matt Schaub for most touchdowns thrown. Brees leads the NFL in efficiency while Manning is third.
We can offer no disrespect to what the gunslingers for the Saints and Colts have accomplished this year but it is time the rest of the media and America for that matter gets on board the Chris Johnson bandwagon.
Former Denver Broncos running back Terrell Davis may not reach the Hall of Fame due to his shortened career but his unforgettable season in 1998 is still talked about and admired, whether you are a Denver fan or an Oakland Raiders fan.
With how Chris Johnson has started out 2009, if he can continue to keep up this pace, the 2009 season will be unforgettable as well. We might not "remember the Titans" of 2009 but we will admire what Johnson was able to accomplish in such a downtrodden year for his franchise, the Tennessee Titans.
Pete Dymeck's is a freelance journalist and his blog is at BoiledBacon.com. Visit Boiled Bacon to see his off-colored rants on everything in sports, from Sammy Sosa to Larry Johnson.
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