How desperately do the Tennessee Titans need the man above, Chris Johnson, to step up? The next two games are against the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers. It’s not like they are playing a peewee team or the Jacksonville Jaguars. No, it’s more like the class and second class of the NFC. So, why do they need him to step up? Here’s three good reasons:
1. Because they have no dynamic quarterback right now.
Jake Locker is hurt and while Ryan Fitzpatrick is not a terrible QB, he isn’t Locker. He’s somewhat mobile and has an (little) arm. But that’s all. If you don’t have a formidable quarterback who can’t get the ball to his playmakers down the field, you have to relieve some of that load and run the ball effectively. It’s not just on Johnson. It’s on the offensive line. It’s on the receivers to block down field. But Johnson has to make people miss, and get past the second level. He must not go down on first touch. His shiftiness and mobility has to be more evident. Otherwise, Fitzpatrick will continue to rack up interceptions because defenses won’t respect the run, and will drop seven in coverage. Fitzpatrick just isn’t good enough to beat seven. Make him beat four or five.
2. Because the next two offense are more than good.
This just in: Russell Wilson likes to score a lot of points. And Colin Kaepernick, while defenses may have got a beat on him, isn’t Blaine Gabbert. The more you run, the more the clock runs, the less time the opposing offense has on the field. This isn’t just a smart move, this is a necessary and the only move to make if you want to win the game. See the Indianapolis Colts last week — who ran the ball effectively, and they still almost lost. To win, you must run. And run. And run.
3. Because he’s being paid oodles amounts of money.
Johnson has a huge contract. Yet, his production doesn’t seem to merit his $53 million contract. His production has declined since he signed it. But it’s not like his skills have diminished. He scampered on a long screen pass last week and showed why he was the franchise running back and he was paid that way. But that’s it. He doesn’t make these long runs anymore, or short, tough runs for that matter. He needs to step up and earn his money.