Chris Johnson waited and waited and waited some more.
Finally, his moment came. After being held to just 36 yards on his first 12 carries, the Tennessee Titans star broke through the line on his 13th carry and raced 76 yards to the end zone in Sunday's 38-13 rout of the Oakland Raiders.
It gave Johnson his 12th consecutive game over 100 yards - two short of Barry Sanders' record - as he finished with 142 yards on 27 carries. FYI, he is 14 yards behind the pace in his quest for 2,500 rushing yards.
The yards might have been tough for Johnson to come by early, but it wasn't anything CJ didn't expect as the Raiders sold out to stop him in the running game, and with so many men up toward line line of scrimmage.
“It's going to be like that a lot of times this year,” Johnson said of facing eight and nine in the box. “I was getting frustrated, but I kept improving and I knew that it was eventually going to work out. Any time you put in an eight or nine-man box, it's going to be like that.”
Once Johnson finally got to the second level, there was no one left to stop him as he raced in for the score and more than tripled his rushing total in the process.
“I was getting frustrated, but you know I kept improving and knew that eventually it was going to work out,” Johnson said. “Anytime you put eight or nine in the box, it's going to be like that.”
Tight end Bo Scaife was blocking his man on the play and got a glimpse of Johnson just as he broke into the clear. It was all Scaife needed to see to know that Johnson was headed to the end zone.
“I saw him out the corner of my eye, he's one-on-one and he's going to make it happen and then outrun the rest. We've got a special guy back there,” Scaife said.
Johnson later added a second touchdown, a 4-yard run into the end zone that pushed the Titans' lead to an insurmountable 31-6.
The only question after that was why CJ was still in the game when the Titans took possession twice in the final six minutes and leading by 25 points.
But Johnson had no qualms with the decision to leave him in in the fourth quarter, because he said the Titans offense can still get better.
“I wasn't surprised,” Johnson said. “Like I said before, I still feel we need work. When your first start out the season, you're not going to be as good as you're going to be at the end of the year. So we're still just working right now.”
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