Chris Johnson has been on a tear with seven consecutive 100+ rushing games. The first six were all greater than 125 yards, then he dipped to “only” 113 last week.
CJ is averaging 126 rushing yards per game for the season, on a pace for 2,012 yards. But over the last seven games, he’s averaging 149.
Tomorrow, Johnson will face yet another defense geared to limit him as much as possible, even if it means stacking the box with 12 men, as suggested in Part One of Drexel’s Q&A exchange with Rams Gab.
But seriously, what might we expect from CJ on Sunday?
The St. Louis Rams, the opponent facing the difficult challenge, has been yielding an average of 146 rushing yards per game this season. More importantly, over the last seven games, the same time period during which CJ has increased his production, the Rams have been more generous than usual, surrendering 161 yards per game.
The Rams’ best game against the run this year was, believe it or not, against the Vikings. Adrian Peterson and company were held to only 89 yards.
On the opposite end of the spectrum was their effort against the Saints, when they allowed Reggie Bush and friends to rush for 203.
Maurice Jones-Drew had the biggest individual day against the Rams, with 133 rushing yards, but for the most part, teams have relied on the synergy of multiple backs to inflict damage. New Orleans, for example, had four players with double digit rushing yards, led by Bush with 83.
Unless LenDale White bust a couple of long runs in spot action, I don’t anticipate multi-back damage against the Lambs this week. I believe CJ can get over 150 all by his lonesome. With the help of his blockers, of course.
It wouldn’t surprise me to see CJ go for over 200, as I opined the other day in the game preview.
CJ needs 491 yards in the final four games, an average of 123 per week, to reach 2,000 for the season. The Rams are the easiest defense left on the schedule, so CJ will need his best effort.
My prediction is 210 yards. Among other things, that would also make him only the 25th man in NFL history to possess multiple 200-yard rushing games.
What’s your prediction? How many yards will CJ get this week?
Note: If you’re going to the game, the Marines are collecting toys for Toys for Tots. Please help a needy child have a merrier Christmas.