A Healthy Chris Johnson Makes Everyone Better


Dec 17, 2012; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans running back

Chris Johnson

during the game against the New York Jets at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Johnson has turned in his Titans’ turquoise for the Green and White of our beloved New York Jets. He is set to become a “thunder and lightning” type of attack with himself and Chris Ivory handling the load. Johnson’s speed and Ivory’s physicality give us a potentially special running attack.

I know that I would be licking my chops if I were Marty Mornhinweg.

Some still, however, downplay the signing a bit, saying that Chris Johnson is not what he used to be. He’s not the same guy that ran for 2,000 yards, earning him the “CJ2K” moniker. Well, that’s obvious. The drop off in yards per carry is clear evidence of that.

But, Johnson still put the ball in the end zone, Johnson still made the big play. He wouldn’t have passed his physical if he wasn’t healthy. Put that all together, and you have a player in Chris Johnson that makes everyone better, not just the running game.

The running game is easy to understand. Johnson getting his share of touches keeps Ivory’s touches limited, saving the health of both players. It’s a basic concept in a league that is more “Running Back by Committee” than ever before. But think about the rest of the team.


How many thousands of times have I talked about the importance of the offensive line? Too many to count, but here it comes anyway. With the offensive line goes the offense. When the offensive line is playing well, the offense looks as good or better than it should, but when the line is playing poorly, the offense looks terrible.

What does a speedy runner on the outside allow an offense to do? Run the screen pass. We have shown highlights of Johnson running the screen pass, he is electric with blockers out in front. An effective screen game slows down the pass rush. That makes the offensive line’s job easier, and keeps the quarterbacks on their feet.

What could be better?


Yes, the Jets’ receivers are better with the addition of Eric Decker, and whomever else will be coming along. But, they are also better with the addition of Chris Johnson. Much better.

This is also pretty straightforward as well. When you have an effective running game and screen game, the defense is going to bring 7-8 guys into the box. You have to, if you are going to have any chance of stopping Chris Ivory and/or Chris Johnson. Then, you get your one on one matchups for Jeremy Kerley, Eric Decker, and everyone else. Everyone improves.

By the way, we are not doing a separate section for the quarterback, because all of these elements make the quarterback better.


I put a question mark because this is a bit of a reach, but I think it makes sense so go with me if you will.

Big plays on offense spark the defense. You have seen it, the offense comes up with a big play, and the defense dominates on the next series. It happens all the time. Having Johnson on the field is having a guy that can make just that type of big play at any time. Johnson takes a screen pass 60 yards, can’t you see Rex’s defense coming onto the field flying, taking off the heads of the opponent?

I can.

Chris Johnson was a big move. He can resurrect his career, and he makes the rest of the team better. Great job!