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Chris Johnson is the best running back in football...

...and its not even close.

Fact of the matter is, most folks would call this post blasphemy (waiting for Kenny to strike me down with a bolt of lightning) and in part it might be. However, this post might be more to strike a comparison to another highly fabled player in our generation and to determine a fatal flaw in the crowned king of tailbacks in the NFL. Let me make this argument in 2 points.

#1. Chris Johnson is the next coming of Barry Sanders Marcus Allen, and he's everything that Reggie Bush was supposed to be in this league.

#2. Adrian Peterson could quite possibly cost the Minnesota Vikings a Super Bowl in the same way that Earnest Byner (remember him?) cost the Cleveland Browns a Super Bowl.

See, fear comes in many forms, for some fear is being overwhelmed physically and not being able to do anything about it. See one Gay, William last month. However, there's a totally different fear which in my opinion is worse, and that's a fear of being embarrassed and made to look silly. See, what happened to William Gay was bad because he got trucked on national television, however I will say that it was a valiant effort, although the ending was quite gruesome. He tried to make the play and it didn't work out, we've all been there. No shame in that...ok, not TOO MUCH shame in that.

But, from what I'm seeing from Chris Johnson this year reminds me of what Barry Sanders used to do to folks in the open field, that is...make them look really foolish and make folks want to retire immediately. Its bad enough that's he's the fastest person in the NFL (sorry, but Devin Hester's 100 speed on Madden needs to be transferred to #28 of the Titans.) but he's got THE NERVE to be able to cut on a dime and juke and hop step with the best of them? WTF! Plus, he's doing something that Purple Jesus is struggling mightily with right now.

He holds onto the football.

I think Adrian proved to us all that he could be a workhorse and plow his way to a remarkable season, however, for the long term everyone realizes that Brett Favre is the best thing that could've happen to "All Day". Less workload, more opportunities to be truly explosive. Chris Johnson this season has had NO help at all. With the resurgence of the ever mercurial Vince Young, you could argue that Johnson has made VY10 better, not the other way around with the QB/RB relationship.

So lets compare Chris Johnson's season thru 11 games compared to Adrian Peterson's season thru 11 games. I mean, AP had Gus Frerotte and Tavaris Jackson at his disposal so I'd say the sides were equal.

2008 Adrian Peterson (thru 11 games) - 4.8 yards/carry, 242 rushes/1180 rush yards/8 rush TDs, 16 recs/95 rec. yards, 5 fumbles/3 lost

2009 Chris Johnson (thru 11 games) - 6.4 yards/carry, 217 rushes/1396 rush yards/9 rush TDs, 33 recs/294 rec. yards/1 rec TD, 1 fumble/1 lost

Chris Johnson is on pace to run for 2,030 yards this season, which would would rank 4th all-time, behind Eric Dickerson (2,105), Jamal Lewis (2,066), and Barry Sanders (2,053). Plus, he's on pace for 2,457 yards from scrimmage (rushing & receiving) which would put him #1 all-time for a single season. Currently, Marshall Faulk ranks 1st with 2,429 yards from scrimmage in 1999. I need you to re-read those last two sentences and begin to realize the magnitude of the performance we're seeing from #28.

Put it another way, if you could re-draft your fantasy team and you owned the #1 pick, who would you select?

(Insert Your Team Name Here) will take Chris Johnson, Runningback, from the Tennessee Titans.




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