Sep 09, 2012; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson (28) runs with the ball after a reception against the New England Patriots during the second half at LP Field. The Patriots beat the Titans 34-13. Mandatory credit: Don McPeak-US PRESSWIRE

Tennessee Titans: Who's to Blame for the Run Game?

Who’s to blame for the Tennessee Titans run game struggles? That’s the question echoing through the internet today and plenty of people have been quick to chime in with their opinion. PFT even has a report that says sources say Titans players are grumbling today and pointing the finger at Chris Palmer.

Whether or not they really are doing such a thing doesn’t really matter to me; I’m blaming him too.

Though some of the weight certainly lies on the offensive line, there has been a change since Palmer has started here and it’s throwing the run game off. Chris Johnson is still himself. That I have no doubt of.

Here’s an important note from yesterday’s game, courtesy of Paul Kuharsky:

Chris Johnson rushed for a career-low four yards on 11 rushes. Johnson never gained more than 2 yards after contact on a rush and the Patriots defenses hit Johnson at or behind the line of scrimmage on eight-of-11 rushes. Johnson’s previous rushing low was 5 yards on seven rushes against the Texans in 2010.

That’s the exact same thing that was happening last year. Exactly.

The question remains, why is it still happening? The line may not be the best, but it’s strange that they can do so well in pass blocking while being so absolutely awful in run blocking.

Munchak seems to have a weakness when it comes to his O-line. It’s a spot of pride that he doesn’t seem eager to change, and that scares me. Something has to be done, whether it’s a scheme change or something else. The Titans can’t repeat last years running results.

Kenny Britt will be back for this next game and that should help take some pressure of Johnson, but I still don’t think that will fix things. I made it known that I was worried about the O-line headed into this season and so far my fears have been confirmed. If Munchak and Palmer don’t address this issue, it won’t be long before Titans fans are wearing brown bags over their heads again.

What do you think?


You can find me on Twitter @JustinLStewart

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  • Shawn Eagle

    Great reference to PK. I read the PFT article and if that’s true…it is way too early to be pointing fingers. The run problems can’t be ignored anymore.

    • Justin Stewart

      Yeah I was shocked with the PFT article. I can’t say I really believe it. “Sources” is a pretty weak start to something.

  • Joshua Huffman

    The question I’d have is how much has the offensive line scheme changed since Chris Palmer arrived? Has it changed at all? Is it his play-calling? Should they do more toss plays and counter plays? Or is Leroy Harris just this bad?

    I know people want to blame CJ and CJ only. Thing is, Javon Ringer and Jamie Harper haven’t looked good in limited carries, neither.

    The Titans can always run against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Why is that? What do the Titans do differently? Or are the Buccaneers just that bad?

    • Justin Stewart

      From what I understand, they used the zone-blocking scheme before Palmer arrived and that’s still the one they’re using. It just doesn’t make sense that they can’t run the ball. It’s not CJ’s fault. The line can’t be that bad, it really can’t.

      I just don’t know how they haven’t fixed this yet.

  • Modesto Koczwara

    Chris Johnson needs to stop making cuts and just run straight!

    • Justin Stewart

      This is not CJ’s fault.

    • Milton Neill Jackson Jr.

      Well he probably would run straight if he had any straight path to run… Its hard to run straight when the other team is grabbing him as soon as he is handed off the ball!!

      • Justin Stewart

        True dat. The stats tell it all. Patriots defenses hit Johnson at or behind the line of scrimmage on eight-of-11 rushes

  • Bennie Guardado

    This was the hardest thing to see out of the week 1 loss. Although, I’m not really surprised. I think a lot of Titans fans would agree that we really didn’t make enough changes to the O-line in the off season. It is almost embarrassing to wear my Johnson jersey in public anymore. Especially, because most people believe the media hype machine that wants to just dump all the blame on CJ’s big contract. Someone in the PFT comment section made a good point that I will share. When CJ was catching the ball we saw him run after the catch like we know CJ can. Maybe that is the trick, we can just toss CJ the ball past the line of scrimmage and ignore the O-line completely. That looks to be the only way he is going to get yards for us. 8/11 for getting hit in the backfield…. that is just atrocious. He has some balls though, I would have said “Hell no, I’m not going back out there. I’m sick of that big P.O.S Vince Wilfork stuffing the ball down my throat.”