Titans plan on running to playoffs
Posted: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 7:03 pm
By TERESA M. WALKER
AP Sports Writer
NASHVILLE (AP) — Chris Johnson and the Tennessee Titans are coming off their best game in two years running the ball. Now they face a new challenge.
Prove they’ve really worked out all the kinks.
The timing would be perfect if the Titans and Johnson finally are back on track and stay around the playoff chase. They head to Buffalo (5-6) on Sunday looking to put together their first winning streak since September trailing the Houston Texans (8-3) in the AFC South, but tied with the Jets and Denver at 6-5 a game out of the last wild-card spot.
“We’re thinking yeah, we’re heading in the right direction,” Titans coach Mike Munchak said. “We’d rather run the ball well now than necessarily the beginning of the season so we’ll look at it that way. We think we’re doing a lot better things in the last few weeks than we had been earlier in the season so we need these next five weeks to be the best games we’ve had.”
Munchak said the key is building on that now.
“When you have success at something finally … the confidence builds for everybody. For Chris, for the line, for the play-caller, the whole bit. Going up to Buffalo, you feel good about what you’re starting to become and now you see what happens the next five weeks.”
The Titans had been mired at the bottom of the NFL in yards rushing per game for the past few weeks. Rushing for 202 yards as a team in the 23-17 win over Tampa Bay bumped Tennessee up to 30th averaging 88.6 yards per game. They did it on a day so wet Johnson tried two different types of gloves before opting to go barehanded.
Johnson is the one who has taken the brunt of the criticism and the boos after sitting out all preseason before getting his $53.5 million deal for leading the NFL in yards rushing between 2008 and 2010. After his best rushing effort since Nov. 1, 2009, he said it’s just one game.
“We’ve got five more games to go so it’s a situation where I just want to be consistent to finish out this year going up, standing up, keep going on until you start to have a good game, then have a bad game.”
Published in The Messenger 11.29.11