Best old man losing face: Norv Turner can’t take much more of this. He’d much rather be driving 20 mph in an 80 mph zone with his left blinker on, or maybe attempting to use the self-checkout at the grocery store before failing miserably and needing the assistance of a high school student.
(via Mike Tunison)
Teaser award: Chris Johnson is now the worst best running back in the NFL.
That sentence doesn’t make sense, right? You probably read it in disbelief, stubbornly clinging to Johnson’s previous seasons and thinking that despite his recent numbers, he’s still talented and explosive.
And he is, but he just isn’t that player anymore. He’s not even a shadow of the player he was a year ago, but the raw, elite talent is still there somewhere, because it couldn’t possibly just vanish, could it? Yet here we are once again discussing another pathetically terrible outing for the man we once referred to as CJ2K.
This time, though, it feels different. It feels like he’s just another average NFL running back, and that feels sad.
Johnson’s had bad days this year, and many of them. He’s eclipsed the 60-yard mark just three times on the ground, and after today he’s teetering dangerously close to being below 50 rushing yards per game (50.9). That’s because Johnson had only 13 yards on 12 carries today during Tennessee’s loss to Atlanta.
Let me write that again, which is something writers do when they’d like you to fully grasp the obscene absurdity of a statistic.
Chris Johnson–the same Chris Johnson who had eight 100-yard games last year, and four 130-plus yard games in what at the time was considered a “down” year — had 13 yards on 12 carries today. That’s embarrassing enough, but it gets worse. Much worse.
Matt Hasselbeck is a 36-year-old man with creaky joints and bones, and he left in the second half with a sprained elbow. Yet in one scrambling play Hasselbeck had more rushing yards (17) than Johnson had in 12 attempts. Wait, it gets worse.
Jake Locker entered the game with just over three minutes remaining in the third quarter, but that’s all the time he needed to gain 11 yards on a scramble of his own, falling just two yards short of Johnson. Yes, it still gets worse, and it involves another quarterback, the only other quarterback that played in this game.
Johnson averaged just 1.08 yards per carry, while Atlanta’s Matt Ryan scrambled six times for three yards, and an average of 0.5 yards per carry. So Johnson was only just over a half-yard better per carry than a quarterback who had half as many yards as he had carries. All of this woeful, sub-par NFL running back play happened just one week after Johnson teased us with 130 yards on 27 carries and a touchdown. C.J. is now quite literally the worst RB in the NFL, and among backs with at least 80 carries he’s dead last in yards per carry.
To those who wasted a first-round pick on Johnson in their fantasy league, please accept my heart-felt condolences. If we could re-draft every fantasy league today, what’s Johnson’s average draft position? 10th round?
Worst attempt at being a fully functioning, cohesive NFL offense: The Chargers started the final quarter of their eventual loss to Chicago down by only a touchdown, and still very much within reach during a crucial game with the Broncos suddenly surging in the AFC West.
So, logically, they ran four plays throughout the entire fourth quarter, and two of them were interceptions. The wayward Philip Rivers has now thrown a career-high 17 interceptions this year, with the final pick coming when he was scrambling out of the pocket and he hooked a nine iron while trying to throw the ball away.
That’s right, Rivers can’t even throw the ball out of bounds properly.