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Titans Chris Johnson: 2,500 yards begins with Raiders
SEATTLE - AUGUST 14: Running back Chris Johnson of the Tennessee Titans rushes during the preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks at Qwest Field on August 14, 2010 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Chris Johnson has a ticker that is going to count down his yardage on the year. It will start at 2,500 yards and count down until he achieves his goal. If he accomplishes that goal, he will shatter the previous high for a single season set by Eric Dickerson in 1984 by 395 yards, which is three really good ground games by today’s standards. Yet, Johnson insists that it is possible.

“Everybody knows our meat and potatoes is our running game,” Titans fullback Ahmard Hall said. “We are going to try and start fast in the running game and let him get his yards, and that should open up everything else.”

However, various Raiders’ defensive players have a different agenda for this particular game.

“He’s going to get 2 or 3, maybe 5,” said MLB Rolando McClain. “But we just have to be consistent in stopping that and not let him get the 81-yard runs. That’s what will kill a team.”

“We definitely have the players to stop the run,” said McClain. “You just watch film from last year a lot of our problems was just doing the little things, even in the Chicago preseason game, we just didn’t do the little things, and when they had that big run, it was just somebody out of place. Those are things that we can correct. We have corrected ’em, so now we’ve just got to go out there, take what we have and play good football.”

“Make him stop his feet and to get as many guys around him (as possible),” said DT Tommy Kelly. “All the film we’ve been watching, it has been one or two guys, and they still haven’t brought him down. He still broke some tackles. So, we’re going to try to get as many guys as we can around him and just try to slow him down.(With) a great player like that, you can’t really just always shut him down because they use him in the passing game. So, it’s going to be real hard to take him out of the game. We just want to limit him.”

Limit the Titans running game? But Chris Johnson says he has other plans for the Raiders. In 1997, Titans running back Eddie George racked up a 216 yard performance on opening day against the Raiders. Johnson’s initial goal is to top that mark, “That can be a goal of mine; to beat what he did…Hopefully I can have more.”

“The goal is 2,500 so I am going to stick to that,” Johnson said. “I feel like it is very realistic. People didn’t think 2,000 was realistic when I set the goal last year and I made a lot of people believers, so I am going to stick to that.”

It would truly be a great accomplishment in NFL history if Johnson is able to obtain his goal, and with the two long runs the Raiders gave up against the Bears (89) and the 49ers (49) there’s no telling what to expect from Chris Johnson, who is widely considered to be one of the top two best running backs in the NFL alongside the Minnesota Vikings’ Adrian Peterson.

Last year Johnson averaged 5.6 yards per carry and finished the season with 11-straight 100-yard rushing games adding 50 catches and had 16 touchdowns. If Johnson hits 100-yards on the ground against the Raiders on Sunday, his 12th consecutive 100-yard game would tie him for the second longest streak in NFL history with none other than the Raiders’ own Marcus Allen.

So, I took a poll. The poll was posted on www.silverandblackpride.com as well as on www.musiccitymiracles.com which is a Tennessee Titans website. Surprisingly, 46 percent of the voters said the Raiders would hold Johnson under 100 yards. The next highest vote was 42 percent of voters saying he would get at least 100 yards and one touchdown and finally, 11 percent said that Johnson would put up over 150 yards and two scores.

One thing I can say for sure is that the Raiders run defense will be tested often by both Chris Johnson and their week 2 opponent, Steven Jackson. If they fail the tests, the best the Raiders will be able to hope for is that it is a learning experience and the team grows from it, otherwise it could be a very long year for everyone.

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