RB Chris Johnson, Free agent
HT: 5-11, WT: 197, Born: 9-23-1985, College: East Carolina, Drafted: Round 1, Pick 24
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Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full ADP list]Overall: M Floyd (56), B Tate (57), Chris Johnson (58), J Bell (59), N Foles (60)
Position: S Vereen (53-RB23), B Tate (57-RB24), Chris Johnson (58 - RB25), J Bell (59-RB26), B Sankey (61-RB27)
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PPR Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full PPR ADP list]Overall: D Jackson (54), T Hilton (55), Chris Johnson (56), J Edelman (57), V Davis (58)
Position: R Rice (52-RB22), J Bell (53-RB23), Chris Johnson (56 - RB24), B Sankey (59-RB25), F Gore (62-RB26)
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Former Titans running back Chris Johnson has definitely lost a step or two over the last few years. You can point to some questionable offensive line play in Tennessee as well as an injury which he's still recovering from (and which required surgery that will have him missing OTAs per ESPN New York's Kieran Darcy) but he's absolutely lost a step. He won't have to carry the load—he will share time with Chris Ivory. That should make him a value as a low-end RB2 or a high-end RB3. He'll get plenty of carries and accumulate yards but not enough of those (or enough touchdowns) to elevate into the top of the RB2 ranks.
2013 Game Summaries
Week 1 - Johnson wasn't the bell-cow that he was expected to be coming into this game. The Titans opened the game by throwing the ball and only gave him two carries on the opening drive. Those two carries were limited to short gains. He did find some space in the second quarter, but never escaped for a big play as the Steelers did very well to contain him and take away any gaps. Johnson was more heavily involved to start the second half, but there was much of the same as the Steelers continued to swarm to the football. Johnson's longest run of the day went for 11 yards and didn't come until the fourth quarter.
Week 2 - The Titans used Johnson as a decoy early on against the Steelers in Week 1. That worked to great effect because the Steelers overcommitted to stopping Johnson. Against the Texans, the Titans immediately featured Johnson and he immediately made plays. Johnson had nine touches in the first quarter, eight of which were carries. His first carry was his longest, as good blocking sent Johnson into the second level before he used his blocking downfield well for a first down gain. The Titans' offensive line was performing well early on, as a trap play sent Johnson free into the secondary again for a first down and gain of 12 yards. Johnson finished the game with 25 carries and even though he wasn't consistently gaining four and five yards with every touch, he and his offensive line combined for enough relatively big plays to get him to 96 yards. Johnson didn't look like the 2,000 yard rusher from seasons past, but he did well against what should be a strong run defense.
Week 3 - It sounds kind of crazy, but Chris Johnson appears to have become a very efficient runner and team player. His most notable play of the first half was a block on linebacker Reggie Walker that allowed Jake Locker to run into the endzone, while the Titans built their offense on Locker throwing instead of Johnson running. Despite that, Johnson was always on the field and made the most out of the opportunities presented to him. He's not getting massive gains with every other touch like he did a few years ago, but he's making quick, smart decisions and ran hard against a front seven that was playing well on the day.
Week 4 - Johnson started the game with two runs for 14 yards, but finished with just 21 yards on 15 attempts. Of Johnson's 15 carries, seven went for no gain or a loss. That speaks to how well the Jets front played. The linebackers were consistently flowing to the football and the defensive line was aggressively pushing the offensive line backwards. Often when Johnson got the ball, he had nowhere to go.
Week 5 - Without a legitimate passing threat, the Chiefs were able to crowd Johnson every time he got the ball in the first half. There was never anywhere to run in the first half and he conceded carries to Jackie Battle after Battle broke off a big run. Johnson dropped a check down in the first half also, but more than made up for it when he caught a shovel pass out of the backfield and ran it in for a 49 yard touchdown in the third quarter. Johnson didn't break any tackles, but he showed outstanding vision to use his blockers. The Titans barely ran the ball in the second half, so Johnson's only real impact came as a receiver out of the backfield. He was contained for the most part.
Week 6 - Johnson was the focus of the running game against the Seahawks. He ran within the offense and made the correct reads against a tough defense. His offensive line didn't give him great holes to run through, but as he continues to do, he couldn't turn good plays into great ones by taking advantage of small spaces with his speed. Johnson is what he is at this stage, he's unlikely to ever return to the star back he was in the past.
Week 7 - Chris Johnson ran very well in this game, but he only had nine carries because the Titans fell behind by so much in the first half. Johnson was again playing within the offense, but he was finishing runs stronger than he had in previous weeks. His big play as a receiver in the fourth quarter that went for a touchdown could be a sign of things to come over the coming weeks.
Week 9 - Johnson's first run saw him clean into the secondary for a 23-yard-gain. He didn't have another big run until he scored his first rushing touchdown of the season from 14 yards out in the third quarter. Johnson hesitated a little before escaping outside right tackle and breaking a tackle to cross the goal line. Johnson broke free again early in the fourth quarter, when he cut back across the field for a 24 yard gain. Johnson used his speed to go right by Cortland Finnegan. After a fumble deep in St. Louis territory, late in the fourth quarter, Johnson again showed off his excellent vision and patience to go untouched into the endzone from 19 yards out.
Week 10 - With his first carry of the game, Johnson fumbled. Paul Posluzny punched it free, but Johnson gave it up too easily. Two plays later, Johnson dropped a pass wide open in the flat. Chris Johnson stepped aside for Shonn Greene to carry the load on the nex two drives before he returned midway through the second quarter. After two good runs, Johnson and Locker messed up a handoff between them for the second fumble of the game. The Jaguars recovered it. Johnson wasn't sidelined after that play and he immediately looked to make amends by breaking across the field on a screen play for a first down. Johnson will be looked down on for the two fumbles that are credited to him, but he ran very well during this game for the most part.
Week 11 - Johnson did all of his good work in the first half of this game. He scored two very impressive touchdowns to give the Titans a 14-0 lead, but after being the bell-cow in the first half of the game the Colts defense stiffened in the second half with the help of some play-calling and a key turnover on special teams. That prevented Johnson from going over 100 yards, but his performance should still be seen as a very promising sign after his struggles against the Jacksonville Jaguars the previous week.
Week 12 - Johnson didn't have much production, just 20 carries for 70 odd yards, but much of that was down to the Oakland Raiders' front seven. The Raiders swarmed to the football and got the better of the Titans offensive line throughout the game, so even when Johnson broke onto the second level he was quickly corralled by tacklers.
Week 13 - Johnson hasn't been a reliable receiving option this season, but his ability to make plays in space after the catch during this game was invaluable. He caught a touchdown pass in the third quarter after making more than one impressive play as a receiver before that. As a runner, Johnson had little success but he was as consistent as he had been all season, showing good patience between the tackles.
Week 14 - Johnson had one carry on the opening drive before Shonn Greene came in to score a touchdown at the goal line. After Leon Washington returned a kick to the goal line to start the second drive, Johnson ran in his own score with good power between the tackles. Johnson's biggest play of the game was a reception on fourth and one in the second quarter. Play-action put him in the flat with no defender near him. He caught the ball and ran to space down the sideline. Outside of that, the Broncos were able to bottle him up for the most part when he took handoffs behind the line of scrimmage. Johnson did have two 10+ yard runs, but a costly fumble in the fourth quarter on a screen play ruined any chance he had to claim a good performance.
Week 15 - The Arizona Cardinals defensive front is one of the toughest to run against in the NFL. As such, the Titans came out passing the ball early on and Johnson had a few carries that were stopped at the line of scrimmage. He was able to escape onto the second level twice with good vision before he caught a touchdown pass down the sideline. Johnson simply ran away from the linebacker after Fitzpatrick held the ball in the pocket before cutting inside two defenders for a relatively easy score. Johnson ran well, but the Cardinals defense and their lead forced the Titans to go away from running the ball. He was still a valuable asset as a receiver, something that he hasn't been in every game this season.
Week 16 - As he has been throughout this season, Johnson was battling between the tackles for any yards he got. His inability to break tackles has limited his effectiveness as teams swarm to the line of scrimmage. That was the story in the first half, but Johnson was much more effective early in the third quarter with a number of good runs to the second level. Johnson's second half was much more productive than his first. His most important play came on third and five when the Titans were trying to kill the clock late on. Importantly, he kept working through contact and reached for the first down. While Johnson doesn't break many tackles with his strength, he does consistently show off the willingness to try and fight through contact.
Week 17 - Johnson finished the game with 27 rushing attempts, but he wasn't featured much in the offense early on. Jackie Battle and Shonn Greene were taking snaps away from Johnson, but Johnson was much more effective than both when he got the ball. In the second quarter, he made a number of very impressive runs that forced the Titans coaching staff to raise his workload. Johnson had a good, not great season, but he definitely left a very positive taste in the Titans' collective mouth moving into the offseason.