Around the League

Presented By

Chris Johnson erupts in Tennessee Titans' win

The Tennessee Titans' second consecutive win -- a 35-34 victory over the Buffalo Bills -- was fueled by the legs of Chris Johnson.

The streaky Titans running back exploded for 195 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries. One of those scores -- an 83-yard gallop -- was a shot in the arm of Johnson's stat line, but remove it, and he still averaged 6.6 yards per carry, a number that accurately portrays the damage he inflicted against Buffalo's flimsy defense.

Johnson's yardage totals in his first six games this season read as such: 4, 17, 24, 141, 24 and 91 yards. He has been that bad and that good, but what we saw from Johnson on Sunday should give Titans fans hope. The self-appointed "CJ2K" has appeared indecisive in those poor outings. He also tends to dance laterally, too often choosing the outside instead of punching through existing gaps.

Johnson wants to play the role of home-run hitter but at the expense of settling for more modest gains that keep drives alive. What we saw against the Bills was a more complete effort. Johnson was physical and quicker to the hole in his best game of the season.

There's a caveat, of course. Sunday's big numbers came against a Buffalo defense that couldn't stop some Pop Warner teams, but Johnson's outburst was a legitimate step in the right direction.

The Titans' win came down to a stirring fourth-quarter drive capped by Matt Hasselbeck's go-ahead, 15-yard scoring strike to Nate Washington. That buried the Bills for good, but it was Johnson's progress Sunday that marked the true difference -- and gives him something on which to build.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content