Tennessee Titans: 4 Thoughts on a dream backfield featuring Henry, CJ2K

Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /
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Tennessee Titans
Chris Johnson (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) /

2. Chris Johnson aka CJ2K is clearly the Tennessee Titans lightning.

Chris Johnson is The Flash. He has to be. He’s a speeding bullet of a running back and was an absolute playmaker at the position in the late 2000s and early 2010s. The modern NFL prioritizes speed, and because of that, year after year teams swing and often miss on NFL Combine darlings who post fast 40 times, but Chris Johnson was a unicorn, an NFL star with blazing speed as a bonus to what was superior football skill.

It was that entire package combined that led to the Titans selecting Johnson 24th overall in the 2008 NFL Draft. Johnson wasn’t a college star until his fourth and final season, but when it came to the pros, he was an instant impact player.

Johnson made the Pro Bowl in his first NFL season, hitting 1,200 yards and nine rushing touchdowns through 14 starts as a rookie, but what made Johnson truly special in that first year was his ability as a receiver. He finished second on the Titans in receptions back in 2008 with 43. You get bonus points if you can guess who finished first!

Times up! It was Bo Scaife.

Johnson’s spectacular 2008 season was just a precursor to something more beautiful the following year. 16 games and 358 carries in the 2009 season took Johnson from an exciting rookie to a historic figure as he hit 2,000 yards on the ground. At the time, that made him just the sixth player in the history of the league to accomplish that feat.

With those 2,000 rushing yards, Johnson added another 500 as a receiver on 50 catches. With a combined 2,509 yards from scrimmage, he had accomplished a season-high. We don’t mean a season-high for 2009. We’re talking about the best single-season total in NFL history.

Accomplishing something that no other man on Earth has been able to do wasn’t enough to net Johnson an MVP award, but he did walk out of 2009 with All-Pro honors and the title of Offensive Player of the Year. Johnson wasn’t a one-hit-wonder either. He could never top the 2,000-yard plateau again (because who can do that twice?), but he did reel off four consecutive seasons with over 1,000 yards on the ground and over 1,400 yards from scrimmage during the next four NFL seasons.

In a universe where he gets the chance to share the backfield with Derrick Henry, Johnson plays the role of lightning to Derrick Henry’s thunder.