Why CJ2K Needs To Zip It
Let me start with a disclaimer: I’m all for athletes being confident in their abilities. I had no problem with Randy Moss claiming he was the greatest wide receiver of all-time (even though the entire planet knows he’s a distant second to Jerry Rice). I had no problem with Joe Flacco turning down $16 million a year before this part season (a gamble which paid off handsomely for “Joe Cool”). I also understand it’s a very thin line between confidence and cockiness. However, Chris Johnson declaring that he’s going to run for more yards than Adrian Peterson in 2013 isn’t confidence or cockiness, it’s just plain stupid!! Johnson has gone Spaceballs on us and hit “ludicrous”.
This shouldn’t come as breaking news either. A.P. is flat out a better running back than “CJ2K” and has been dating all the way back to college. This isn’t just an opinion, the numbers speak for themselves. In three years at Oklahoma Peterson ran for over a thousand yards every season. In fact, in his record setting freshman year her nearly topped 2,000 yards (he’d finish with 1,925). In contrast Johnson passed the 1,000 yard mark only once in four years at East Carolina. Outside of his senior year he failed to hit even 700 yards in any season. As a freshman Peterson finished second in Heisman voting where as Johnson is still waiting for the post office to deliver his invite to the ceremony.
Johnson’s accomplishments in college include being named C-USA all-freshman and Hawaii bowl MVP (not exactly awe inspiring) while Peterson was an Associated Press all-freshman, unanimous all-American and Jim Brown trophy winner as the nations top running back.
Chris used an impressive performance in that Hawaii bowl his senior year (223 rushing yards and 153 return yards) coupled with a fast 40 time at the combine (4.24 seconds) to trick the Titans into a first round selection. Johnson gained 1,228 yards his rookie year in 2008 and finished second in rookie-of-the-year voting. Peterson of course finished his rookie year with 1300+ yards and won the ROY award in 2007.
Now Johnson does deserved credit for his incredible 2009 season in which he ran for 2,006 yards and set an NFL record for most yards from scrimmage with 2,509. Alas, Chris wasn’t even voted the MVP that year (he lost to Peyton Manning). In fact during that year Peterson actually had more touchdowns than Johnson 18-14. Peterson would go on to win MVP honors last season beating out, you guessed it, the same Peyton Manning that Johnson couldn’t.
Outside of 2009 Johnson has only passed 1300+ in one of his four other seasons. In contrast Peterson has failed to pass 1300+ yards only twice, in 2010 (where he fell two yards shy) and 2011 (when he tore his ACL and MCL). Peterson nearly set the NFL record for rushing yards in a season last year missing the mark by a mere nine yards. Johnson on the other hand finished ninth in the league behind two rookies (Alfred Morris and Doug Martin) and a back that started the season as number two on his teams depth chart (C.J. Spiller).
A knock against MVPeterson has been his fumbling issues, however, he has lost a fumble two or less times in the last three years. Johnson meanwhile is coming off a season in which he lost a fumble a career high four times.
Peterson can stake claim to 9 NFL records and 12 Minnesota Vikings records. The majority of Johnson’s records are on vinyl. For Chris to claim he can outrush Adrian after two subpar years (including a prima donna holdout of training camp and most of preseason in 2011) and a season after “Purple Jesus” nearly rewrote the record book is equivalent to Adam Sandler saying he would win a best actor Oscar over Daniel Day-Lewis next year. It ain’t gonna happen people.