|Johnson flashed his old 'CJ2K' form on Friday. (AP)|
It wasn't a good night in Tampa for starting Buccaneers running back LeGarrette Blount, who left the game with what looked like a serious knee injury. But it sure was a good evening for the Titans Chris Johnson, who flashed "2K" ability during the Week 2 Friday night preseason game.
Johnson picked up 46 yards on 10 carries, but he also ran for two touchdowns, the first of which was a 14-yard run that looked like vintage CJ.
As you can see from the GIF below, via SB Nation, Johnson took a handoff up the middle, and made a pair of sick cuts to get outside, where he turned on his afterburners and cruised into the end zone.
Though everything's faster in GIF form, the moves were legit, and so was Johnson's performance. It's too early to declare him completely "back," because a) it's the preseason and b) this the Buccaneers we're talking about. (Johnson had 190 rushing yards against Tampa in the regular season in 2012, easily his best game of the season.)
But it's worth noting that CJ is playing with a big chip on his shoulder this season. He recently joined "The Jungle" with Jim Rome and said that he firmly believes he can
"Yeah I know I'm a 2K guy. It's up to how our offense [plays out] -- if the running game is a strength then I feel like I can do it," Johnson said. "If the passing game is a strength, I feel like I can still put up big numbers. It's all what direction the offense goes in and we don't know that direction until the years starts and we find out about our strengths."
It's pretty clear that the offense will go through Johnson, because there are some serious problems elsewhere. The offensive line simply didn't look that good on Friday night, and it hasn't been that great for a while now (there were plenty of attempts to peg his struggles on the offensive line last year).
And Jake Locker wasn't much better. The second-year quarterback started the game and ended up going 4-for-11 for 21 yards and an absolutely mind-numbing interception when he rolled out, started to take off and air-mailed a pass on the run. Matt Hasselbeck -- 4-for-5 for 29 yards -- didn't do anything to yank his the momentum for the job back into his corner, but it's hard to imagine that Mike Munchak's got a whole lot of confidence in Locker given the way he played.
On the bright side, this is a Tennessee team that managed to win nine games with a rookie coaching staff, two new quarterbacks and a Pro Bowl running back who was nonexistent for most of the season ... all in a lockout year.
If Johnson's legitimately back to the form that made him one of the most dangerous offensive weapons in the NFL, Munchak can at least feel somewhat confident that his formula from last season could succeed and maybe even improve.
After all, the Johnson we saw -- even if it was brief -- on Friday night is the guy who can put an offense on his back and dominate regardless of who's under center.
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