After Loss to the Colts, the Titans Should Consider Getting Rid of Chris Johnson

Daniel BarnesCorrespondent IIIDecember 18, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 18:  Jacob Lacey #27 of the Indianapolis Colts hauls in the interception in front of Chris Johnson #28 of the Tennessee Titans at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 18, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  The Colts defeated the Titans 27-13. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
John Grieshop/Getty Images

Before the game against the Titans, the Colts had the 30th-ranked rush defense in the league. Chris Johnson signed a $50 million dollar contract at the beginning of the season.

If you'd told either of those things to someone who didn't know anything about football and then let them watch the Titans-Colts game, they'd think you were crazy.

Now, there were plenty of mistakes on the Titans to go around: Hasselbeck didn't play well because of his injury, the play calling was horrible, Tommie Campbell had some costly penalties and the defense gave up some big plays because of poor tackling.

However, most of the blame rests firmly on Chris Johnson's shoulders.

Johnson had perhaps the worst game of his entire career against the Colts, and if you ask me, he pretty much cost the Titans the game by himself.

Not only did he rush for next to nothing, he also dropped pretty much every pass that was sent his way, including one which resulted in an interception and defensive touchdown for the Colts. After that, he nearly made it worse by getting tackled in the endzone for what would have been a safety if the refs hadn't given him forward progress.

One play in particular stood out to me: Chris Johnson got the ball with an open field on the left side, and was caught by Pat Angerer after only a three yard gain. 2008-2010's Chris Johnson would have turned that play into a touchdown. The 2011 version didn't even get a first down.

He is slower, he hesitates every time he gets the ball, he doesn't break tackles well and he looks like he doesn't care.

He's been terrible all season, but finally started to look good again after a string of good performances against weak run defenses in the Titans' playoff push. However, his lack of effort against the Colts proves once and for all that he's not who he used to be.

Of course, I put a lot of blame on head coach Mike Munchak for keeping Johnson in the game and even worse, for continuing to give him the ball after he was accomplishing nothing on the ground or through the air.

Javon Ringer and Jamie Harper should have been playing starting in the second quarter.

Of course, Tennessee was unable to pass the ball on Indianapolis either. With Nate Washington and Matt Hasselbeck playing through injury, the passing game was off, which is even more reason establishing the run was important.

However, it was clear early on that Chris Johnson was not the man to get that done. In the last game against the Colts, Javon Ringer had 60 yards on 14 carries. For comparison, Chris Johnson had 14 carries for 20 yards, until a lucky 35-yard run increased his total to 55 yards.

That's pathetic. There's no other word for it.

At this point, I have changed my stance on Johnson, yet again. When he first held out, I was on Chris Johnson's side. I thought that he deserved to be paid. Then, when he continued to hold out after the Titans said they'd make him the highest paid running back in the league, I was against him, but I didn't think that trading him made any sense.

Now, I think the Titans must trade Johnson for whatever they can get, even if they have to eat his contract.

The Titans are rebuilding, and Chris Johnson's don't-care attitude could be a cancer in an otherwise hard working locker room.

I don't think many teams will give a lot for Johnson, but if I were Reinfeldt and a team offered me a fourth round pick for Johnson, I'd take it.

Jake Locker has proven that he can come through when it matters. He's led several touchdown drives already this season. He's still got some growing to do, but he's the future of the team.

The defense has a lot of high motor young guys like Karl Klug, Jurrell Casey, Akeem Ayers and Colin McCarthy. Furthermore, there are a couple of young running backs that could keep the running game going (Ringer and Harper).

Chris Johnson doesn't belong on the Titans anymore, and if the Titans' front office knows what it's doing, they ought to do what they can to get rid of him.