Arizona Cardinals at Tennessee Titans: Know Thy Enemy Edition

After a season in which the Tennessee Titans started 10-0, they weren't able to duplicate that start for the 2009 season. They started this season off by going 0-6 and have not played well in any of those contests. Since that awful start, they made a change at quarterback by starting Vince Young instead of Kerry Collins. Ever since that move they have won four straight to make their record 4-6. Even though Young has played pretty decent since becoming the starter, he has not been the player that has carried this team, as that player would be running back Chris Johnson.

Johnson was a first round draft pick last season and was brought in to compete with LenDale White for the starting job. These two backs would not only compete with each other but become quite possibly the best running back duo in the NFL last season. Both runningbacks would combine for a total of 2277 yards and 25 touchdowns. Those are big numbers for a pair of runningbacks but this season has been different. Johnson has had an amazing season leading the league in rushing yards with 1242 over 10 games (124.2 yards per game) and 262 receiving yards. He has also has eight rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown. White has seen his playing time dwindle to almost nothing compared to last season getting just 63 touches that have gone for 220 total yards and two touchdowns. Johnson is clearly the back to worry about in this game.

For Johnson, he has never faced the Arizona Cardinals but that does not mean he will not play well against them. All he has to do is look at a similar running back in DeAngello Williams, who has had some solid games against the Cardinals. In Williams career he has played four games against the Cardinals. In those four games he has had 445 rushing yards on 62 carries (7.2 yards per carry average) and two touchdowns. Johnson will want to study some of those games to see how Williams ran all over the Cards and try to duplicate or better those numbers.

As for the Cardinals, their defense will have to play some of the best run defense they have had to play. They will be counting on safety Adrian Wilson, inside-linebacker Gerald Hayes, and inside-linebacker Karlos Dansby to stop Johnson. They will not have to necessarily stop him from getting over 100 yards rushing but they will need to make sure he does not break a long run, which he has done a lot of this season, or get any touchdowns. If they can do that than the Cards should have a good chance at winning this game. Can the Cardinals stop Chris Johnson from running all over them?

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