What Separates Chris Johnson from Every Other Running Back in the NFL?

Taylor WrightContributor IFebruary 15, 2010

SEATTLE , WA - JANUARY 03:  Chris Johnson #28 of the Tennessee Titans plays against the Seattle Seahawks   at Qwest Field on January 3, 2010 in Seattle, Washington. Johnson ran for 134 yards to break the 2,000 yard mark for the season.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Okay, so first off this is not an article simply claiming that Chris Johnson is better than every other running back.  I am simply stating what makes him different and successful after coming off a season where he eclipsed the 2,000-yard mark.

The first and most obvious difference is his speed.  He ran a 4.24, 40-yard dash time at the combine.  This is the fastest time recorded since the NFL began using electronic timers at the combine in 1999. 

That 4.24 speed helps Johnson in a big way. On any given play he can use the smallest hole or gap and turn it into a touchdown from anywhere on the field. Essentially, the pursuit ends once he gets past the last defender on the field. There's a reason why he had three 80-plus yard touchdowns. 

Another reason for his success was the Titans' elite offensive line.  Despite not having any Pro Bowlers, they played an essential part in creating the holes that led to these touchdowns. Michael Roos, Kevin Mawae, and David Stewart are all at the top for their respective positions.  The Titans wide receivers also provided great, blocking up the field. 

Football is a team sport and the Titans support Chris Johnson.  Even Lendale White who lost his No. 1 spot to Johnson cheers him on.  The Titans are a running team and they run well.

Chris Johnson is a great running back on his own. Add his star offensive line and you get a 2,000-yard season. Johnson also has a reputation for being unable to break tackles, but he does bounce off his fair share of hits during games.

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In the NFL there are power backs, speed backs, and scat backs.  Chris Johnson is a fusion of everything you look for in a running back. He even set the record for yards from scrimmage with 500-plus receiving yards.

He holds the ball and barely fumbles even after a 350-carry year.  No one can touch him due to his lightning speed and he is actually pretty hard to tackle.

Chris Johnson is a perfect example of a great player in a great system, because these days one man won't win a game.  Defences are just too good.  I wouldn't be surprised if he was the last player to break 2000 yards for a long time.