Quite a few solutions to the curious case of Chris Johnson are floating around.
The Titans running back’s fall from grace this season — remember, he predicted a second 2,000-yard season — has been remarkable. But what’s really at the bottom of what seems a perfect storm of factors — the NFL lockout, his holdout, his fat contract, the decline of the Titans’ running game or his own wear and tear — no one quite knows.
That includes NFL Network analyst Sterling Sharpe, who seldom doesn’t have an answer for something. And the Titans, whom Sharpe says also are in the dark.
“They’re giving him opportunities,” Sharpe said Wednesday. “The Chris Johnson that we’re used to seeing, I don’t know why we’re not seeing him. I can’t put my finger on it, and when you talk to the Tennessee Titans, they don’t know what it is either.”
It’s popular — and easy — to point to Johnson’s payday ($30 million guaranteed) as the launch of his decline. But Sharpe doesn’t see a change in Johnson’s running style — just his ability to win one-on-one matchups.
“Usually, when he got one on one, he could make a guy miss and it was going to be electric. Now he’s just curling up in a ball and looking for the softest spot on the field to lay down,” Sharpe added. “I honestly can’t help Tennessee fix this problem.”
The Titans desperately need someone who can.