The Tennessee Titans are still winless on the season, and they really don’t look like they have a chance of recreating last year’s 9-7 season that saw them left just on the outside of the playoffs. This week, they’ll take on the Detroit Lions, who are coming to LP Field hungry after losing on Sunday Night Football last week.
The key for Tennessee is going to be the ground game. Chris Johnson averaged 125.4 YPG on the ground the year that he rushed for 2,006 yards and earned the moniker “CJ2K.” Over the course of his last 18 games though, Johnson has just 1,068 yards and four total touchdowns, an average of just 59.3 YPG. This year, he has just 19 carries for 21 yards, and he hasn’t had a single carry for more than seven yards during the whole campaign.
Think that Johnson is licking his chops at the idea of going against a Detroit defense that is allowing teams to rumble for 112.5 YPG and historically struggles against the rush?
Of course, what might help out Johnson is the fact that a passing threat might eventually be present. Jake Locker hasn’t had much to work with this year, but at least he should be getting back Kenny Britt full-time to the lineup this week. Britt should bring a deep threat back to an offense that has had just four plays for more than 20 yards during the entire season. Expect Britt to be on a bit of a snap count like he was last week, but he’ll get a heck of a lot more than just one catch when the day is said and done with.
If Johnson can’t figure out how to run against this Detroit defense though, not only might he find himself on the bench, but the Titans won’t beat the +3 NFL odds that they face against the Lions either, and they’ll drop to 0-3.