It’s not often a running back goes for 177 yards and gets upstaged.
But that’s exactly what Titans star Chris Johnson did to his Jacksonville Jaguars counterpart Maurice Jones-Drew in Sunday’s 30-13 Tennessee victory at LP Field.
Jones-Drew had just eight carries in the game, but scored on runs of 80 and 79 yards in averaging 22.1 yards per run on Sunday in putting up his 177-yard total.
Impressive to be sure, but still short of the totals put up by Johnson, who had a franchise-record 228 yards on the ground on 24 carries, including touchdown runs of 52 yards and 89 yards in the second half to seal Tennessee’s first victory of the season, 30-13 against the Jaguars.
The efforts of Johnson and Jones-Drew marked the first time in NFL history there had been four touchdown runs of longer than 50 yards in the same game.
For Johnson, it gives him 824 yards rushing this season and vaults him back to the top of the NFL in rushing. It also moves Eddie George and Billy Cannon aside in the franchise record books, as both of them held the previous high with 216-yard rushing games.
“It feels real good to look at some of the guys who have played before me, then come in and break a record,” Johnson said. “But records are made to be broken.”
Johnson broke through the line and around the right side for his 52-yarder in the third quarter that gave Tennessee the lead for good at 20-13, moments after Jones-Drew had tied it with the second of his scores.
But it was the 89-yarder with rookie Kenny Britt escorting him to the end zone that proved to be the clinching play for the Titans.
“The guys up front, receivers, everybody knew they had to get involved,” Titans coach Jeff Fisher said.
Johnson’s linemen were pleased at their star running back’s efforts on Sunday.
“It’s fun blocking for a guy like that, because you know on any run he can go the whole way. It makes it a lot of fun for an offensive lineman,” guard Jake Scott said.
Johnson’s record-setting day made a winner of quarterback Vince Young in his first start of the year.
“CJ, he is one of those players, you can’t coach those type of things. The speed that he has, he has a God-given talent. Just get the ball in his hands, and we give him some time to spring them, and that is what he does,” Young said.