Under Pressure: Chris Johnson

Will Chris Johnson silence his critics in 2012 after a subpar 2011?

NFL.com’s Around The League blog began it’s series with a look at the quarterback battle developing with the New York Jets. Now comes a look at another player that vastly underperformed last season: Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson. I wrote about Johnson’s disappointing  2011 a few months back:

After a contract hold out that forced him to miss all of training camp AND all preseason games, Chris Johnson signed a 4 year/$53.5 Million contract. After rushing for 2,006 yards in the 2009 season, the media fell in love and christened him “CJ2k”. Consecutive seasons ending with appearances in the Pro Bowl had Johnson feeling as if he’d outplayed his rookie contract, which lead to the holdout/new deal. Johnson proceeded to have a fairly subpar season, rushing for only 1,084.

Here’s what NFL:ATL had to say about CJ:

You know when you wake up from a nightmare and you get that feeling of relief that everything is OK? Chris Johnson probably woke up every day last year expecting his nightmare to go away. But it never did.

We saw more Chris Johnson-like rushing performances in the second half of last season, but he enters 2012 as a question mark. What version of CJ2K will the Titans get? And will they be able to survive if the old Chris Johnson stays AWOL?

Last season, Chris Johnson managed to draw the ire of Titan fans, fantasy owners and analysts alike. He has to hope a new year and a refocused effort will get him back on track to his game-breaking ways.

Further reading: Pressure on Titans RB Johnson to rediscover old form

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