All things being equal – or almost equal – in terms of play calling made a huge difference for Chris Johnson on Sunday.
The Tennessee Titans’ running back was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week on Wednesday after he rushed for 131 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday’s 34-27 victory at Dallas.
“I think we had 27 rushes and 25 pass attempts (Sunday), so we had balance as opposed to (the previous) week when we threw it 28 times and ran it 20,” coach Jeff Fisher said Monday. “We’re going to do what we feel gives us a chance to win on a weekly basis.”
That balance was maintained throughout the contest. Tennessee ran it 16 times and threw it 15 in the first half.
Similarly, Johnson’s production remained consistent. He had 68 rushing yards, including one 29-yard gain, in the first half, and then added 63 yards, including one 42-yard burst, in the final two quarters. Both his touchdowns came on short runs in the fourth quarter.
“I don’t think just off one game is going to make defenses come in and not put so many people in the box,” Johnson said following the game. “It’s going to take a couple games to do it and we are consistent with it, teams will have to come a different way, but I still think teams will come in here and try and play us the same way.”
Johnson has three 100-yard rushing games this season and currently ranks second in the NFL with 485 rushing yards. He has topped 100 yards in seven consecutive road games.
It is the second time in his career Johnson has earned the award and the first time since Week 14 of last season, when Keith Bulluck was named Defensive Player of the Week, that a Titan earned one of the conference’s weekly honors.
• Linebacker Jamie Winborn was re-signed, just days after he was released.
Winborn, who started the first four games of the season, replaced linebacker Collin Allred, who was placed on injured reserve with a neck injury. He was waived prior to Sunday’s game at Dallas to make room for Gerald McRath, who was activated following a four-game suspension.
Winborn has eight tackles with the defense and one tackle on special teams. Allred made two tackles on defense and four on special teams in five appearances.
• Johnson has been nominated for the FedEx Ground Player of the Week for the third time this season, and quarterback Vince Young has been nominated for FedEx Air Player of the Week.
They were nominated for the play at Dallas.
The winner is determined by fan voting at nfl.com/fedex. Voting is open through 11 a.m. (CDT) Friday.