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Jets Have a Home Run Hitter in Chris Johnson

Posted Apr 16, 2014

Singles don’t win in the National Football League.  You need pop in your offensive lineup and the Jets got some more of that today with the free agent acquisition of the explosive Chris Johnson

The Jets managed to register eight victories while scoring 18.1 points a game in 2013.  Only the 4-12 Jaguars (247), the 2-14 Texans (276) and the 4-12 Buccaneers (288) scored less than the Green & White (290).

John Idzik needed to get Marty Mornhinweg more weapons and he has done just that, getting a proven receiver on the outside in Eric Decker and then staying patient and adding CJ2K here more than a month after free agency commenced on March 11.  And the Jets are still in a position of strength from a salary perspective (beginning the day with more than $26 million in cap space according to OverTheCap.com) and Idzik will be a power player on draft weekend with 12 selections.

Last season, the Jets finished sixth in rushing (134.9 yards per game) and tied for ninth in yards per carry (4.4).  They achieved those numbers despite teams stacking up to neutralize the ground attack as the Jets had the NFL’s 31st ranked pass offense (183.2 ypg).  Already having improved the pass offense with Decker, the Jets gave the backfield a turbo boost with Johnson.

Without a “speedster” at RB in 2013, the Jets finished sixth in the league with 14 carries of 20 yards.   Now enter Johnson, who has totaled 68 carries of 20 yards in his six-year career while topping out with 22 in that memorable 2,006-yard campaign of 2009.  Critics will point to Johnson’s 3.9-yard average last season, but CJ2K has averaged 4.6 yards a clip throughout his career.

Mornhinweg also likes to throw to his backs and Johnson should be a nice outlet out of the backfield.  He has averaged 45 receptions a season since entering the league (Kerley’s 43 receptions paced the Jets in ‘13) and defenses have to account for the 5’11”, 203-pounder in space.

A change of scenery should benefit Johnson and one of the strengths of this Jets team is its line play.  The only change up front is Breno Giacomini stepping in for Austin Howard at RT and the former is considered a solid run blocker.

Johnson adds to an already talented backfield.  Chris Ivory, acquired for a fourth-round pick last April, is a bruising downhill runner who also possesses impressive speed once he hits the edge.   Ivory had eight carries of 20 yards last season, which tied for sixth in the league, and his 2.7 yards after contact ranked first among all NFL backs with 175 carries.   Bilal Powell is a jack of all trades and actually had the most total yards (697 rushing 272 receiving) of any Jets skill position player while finishing second on the team in both rushing yards and receptions, and the fast Mike Goodson also remains on the roster.

The Jets were 7-1 when they scored 20 points in 2013.  Johnson, whose 4.24 sprint at the NFL Combine in 2008 remains the fastest 40 time in NFL history, is 28 years old and has never rushed for less than 1,000 yards in an NFL season.  He still carries a big bat and when he swings for the fences in 2014 — he’ll be wearing green & white.

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