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Friday (What on earth is wrong with Chris Johnson?) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand under Professional football Updated: September 21, 2012 - 9:16 AM

 

If you are a living, breathing human being who is able to read this right now, chances are you remember a time when Chris Johnson was considered perhaps the best running back in the NFL. It was, at the very least, a compelling argument between Johnson and the Vikings' Adrian Peterson.

 

As such: What in the name of all that is pure and holy in this world is wrong with this guy now?

If you assumed his downward trend of a 2011 season (1,047 yards, 4 TDs) was because of holdout rust, then you need a new theory. Since his dominant 2009 season, when he topped 2,000 yards and looked almost unstoppable, Johnson has gone from elite to above-average to OK to downright terrible when you just look at the raw numbers.

It has reached a nadir -- or at least Titans fans better hope this is bottom -- this season, with Johnson rushing for just 21 yards on 19 carries through two games. His longest run? Seven yards. And the finger pointing has begun. Awkward quote of the century alert, when Johnson was asked about his struggles and the blocking in front of him:

"I wouldn't sit here and say I'm to blame. I wouldn't think so, but I'm not the guy to sit here and be the guy that points fingers and things like that. It's just a situation where I'm going to be only as good as my line's going to be. So we've got to work together and get better together."

Johnson will turn 27 on Sunday, when the Titans play host to Detroit. This really should be about the prime of his career. Instead, if you're not willing to throw 1,500 pounds of offensive line under the bus like Johnson is, we're left with this: Maybe there just isn't much left in the tank, for whatever reason.

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