When Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak came to the podium for his postgame press conference, he asked, “Any running game questions?”
There certainly weren't many on Sunday as Chris Johnson slogged his way through the sloppy conditions to post his most productive game of the season, a 190-yard performance on 23 carries in Sunday's 23-17.
“It's just one game,” Johnson said. “We've got five more games to go. So it's a situation where I just want to be consistent to finish out this year going up, standing up, keep going on … I just want to be consistent.”
Sunday's game marked not only a season high for Johnson and the running game, which had 202 yards total, but also the third highest single-game rushing total of his career.
“You could see from the sideline that there was some good blocking going on and obviously good running,” Munchak said. “When you have 190 yards, good things are happening.”
In sloppy conditions in a game that featured nine combined turnovers, the Titans got what they needed from Johnson and the rushing attack to hold off the Buccaneers, who suffered their fifth straight loss.
“It was opportunities, obviously. We stuck with the run game,” said center Eugene Amano. “With the elements they way they were, we couldn't really throw the ball the way we wanted to. So we stuck with the run game and controlled the clock. It was a good sequence of plays.”
Guard Jake Scott agreed, saying that the Titans picked a good time to break out in the run game.
“We knew it was there, and that Chris is capable. It hasn't really been him the whole time; it's been all of us. But we're capable of doing it, and he's capable of doing it and we showed that today,” Scott said.
Given the wet conditions, the Titans decided the run game was probably their best course of action in the contest.
“Ideally, yes. You try to limit your exchanges, just because a wet ball is harder to deal with,” Scott said. “If you can limit your exchanges and control the clock on a day like that, that's good. And we were able to do that. We had a lot of turnovers, which hurt us, because I think we should have put up even more points today.”
Indeed, Johnson lost a fumble, as did backup Javon Ringer, and quarterback Matt Hasselbeck had two interceptions, including one pick six by Aqib Talib.