Chris Johnson had two 14-yard touchdown runs and the Tennessee Titans rushed for 216 yards Friday in a 30-7 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium.
Much of the focus going into the contest was the quarterbacks, particularly Jake Locker who started for the first time, but it was the running backs who stole the show.
Johnson, who struggled in the preseason opener at Seattle, ran for 46 yards on 10 carries. His first touchdown tied the score 7-7 with 30 seconds to play in the first quarter and the second made it 17-7 with 7:16 to go before halftime.
Jamie Harper added 41 yards on nine carries, which included one for 21 yards. Darius Reynaud had a 39-yard gain and a game-high 75 yards on seven carries.
Locker had a 21-yard run of his own but completed just four of 11 passes for 21 yards. His second attempt was intercepted and led to an early 7-0 lead for Tampa Bay. He finished with a passer rating of 7.0.
Matt Hasselbeck relieved him and played sparingly but completed four of five throws for 24 yards. Rusty Smith threw for 86 yards, capped by a 15-yard touchdown pass to Cameron Graham with seven minutes to play.
While the offense put up big numbers on the ground, the starting defense made it look as easy a 1-2-3. The Buccaneers managed just one passing yard, had two turnovers and three first downs in the first half. Tennessee converted those takeaways — a fumble recovery by Leger Douzable and an interception by Chris Hawkins — into 10 second-quarter points.
For the game, the Titans outgained the Buccaneers 341-81.