Now that running back Chris Johnson has finally found a new home, fans of the New York Jets want to know what CJ2K can bring to the table in his first season.
Everyone will need to realize that Johnson will not rush for over 2,000 yards or score 14 rushing touchdowns like he did in 2009. That was a remarkable year for the 28-year-old running back, but those numbers are not going to be repeated just because he signed with a new team. He has never rushed for less than a 1,000 yards in his career, however, and I expect Johnson to be able to continue that trend with New York.
With the Jets ranking sixth in rushing yards with 134.9 rushing yards per game in 2013, Johnson finds himself in a good situation. Head coach Rex Ryan wants to stay focused on the rushing attack, so the former running back for the Tennessee Titans will be able to immediately contribute. The Jets used its running backs Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell in different ways, but Johnson is a dual-threat back who can play in any situation.
While Powell wasn’t a huge factor in the running game, he was able to contribute in the passing attack with 36 receptions for 272 receiving yards. Ivory, however, was primarily used in the rushing attack and finished the 2013 season with 833 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns. Ivory and Powell combined for a total of 358 rushing attempts and 38 receptions last season, so Johnson can easily take away touches from each back.
I believe that Johnson will steal the majority of Powell’s 176 rushing attempts from 2013, as well as cut into Ivory’s playing time. With the simple fact that CJ2K should be able to remain healthy with other running backs to share the load, he should be able to break off some big gains in every game. With mobile quarterbacks in Geno Smith and Michael Vick, Johnson should be able to capitalize on any short dump off passes chucked his way and turn them into huge runs.
I predict that a healthy Johnson will receive 220 carries and have 34 receptions, which he will turn into 1,080 rushing yards and 385 receiving yards with a combined touchdown total of 12.
Again Jets fans, you won’t have the same player from the year that he rushed for 2,000 yards, but you will still have an explosive runner who will help the team compete against the New England Patriots for first place in the AFC East.