Chris Johnson has lost his ability to make people miss
Chris Johnson still has tremendous straight-line speed, but his elusiveness is gone. No running back caused fewer missed tackles per carry last year.
|RB Chris Johnson averaged a career-low 3.9 yards per carry last season. (USATSI)|
Chris Johnson averaged a career-low 3.9 yards per carry last year because he's lost his ability to make defenders miss.
On 279 carries, Johnson caused 21 missed tackles -- the lowest ratio for any running back who saw substantial action, according to Pro Football Focus.
For comparison, the Saints' Pierre Thomas caused the exact same number of missed tackles on 132 fewer carries. And Donald Brown caused 22 missed tackles on just 102 totes.
Johnson tied Willis McGahee and the retired Rashard Mendenhall by averaging 1.8 yards after contact per carry. Only Ray Rice, Jordan Todman and Darren Sproles were worse. Johnson's 2013 season continued a trend in which he's gotten less elusive year by year.
CJ2K is over 2,000 touches for his six-year career, 2,014 to be exact, and it's taken its toll. He turns 29 in September.
Expected to be released by the Titans any moment, Johnson will have no trouble finding another job. The Jets reportedly want to pair him with Chris Ivory. Johnson would be an upgrade over Bilal Powell. The good news is Johnson would play his home games on FieldTurf, not natural grass. Last season he averaged 4.8 yards per carry on turf, 3.7 on grass.
A change of scenery might be what Johnson needs. But the Jets wouldn't be getting the Chris Johnson who electrified the league. They'd be getting the one who can't dodge tacklers.
Jamey Eisenberg currently has Johnson ranked 25th among RBs, between Joique Bell and Steven Jackson.
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