Colts able to 'contain' Johnson to 113 yards rushing

Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 5:56pm

INDIANAPOLIS — By normal standards, Chris Johnson enjoyed another outstanding game individually on Sunday, rushing for 113 yards on 27 carries in the Tennessee Titans’ 27-17 loss to the unbeaten Indianapolis Colts.

But Johnson had set the bar so high during his six-game stretch of at least 128 yards on the ground, that Sunday’s effort was merely mortal.

As it was, he still holds a commanding lead in the NFL rushing race with 1,509 yards, which incidentally matches Eddie George’ s best season as a Titan in 2000 as the third best individual rushing season in franchise history. Earl Campbell holds the top two seasons — 1,934 in 1980 and 1,697 in 1979.

But the Colts did do something that few teams have done to Johnson this season. They kept him from breaking any big runs, despite his reaching the century mark for the game. Johnson’s longest run from scrimmage was just 11 yards in the first half.

“Basically, they’re a fast team. They were running to the edge, forcing me to cut back a lot,” Johnson said.

But he said overall he believed the Titans did OK on the ground, despite the absence of any breakaway gains. Tennessee had 142 yards rushing as a team on the day.

“We had success running the ball. I don’t know what I had. I wouldn’t say it was a tough game [rushing wise],” Johnson said. “Every week, you’re not going to have a 80 or 50 yard run. I think we were successful running the ball.”

Quarterback Vince Young agreed, adding, “If he had 113, I don’t think they did a good job. I mean, he still got 100 yards, and that’s all we can ask him to do.”

Still, the Colts sounded pleased with their efforts against the Titans’ star, who now needs 491 yards in four games to get to 2,000 and 596 to break Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record.

“You definitely wanted to contain Johnson,” Colts linebacker Gary Brackett said. “He’s a very effective runner. We definitely wanted to run him down when he tried to go outside.”

After Sunday, Johnson's average yards per game has him on pace to finish with 2,012 yards.