Chris Johnson’s 2,000 Yards: NFL Rushing Record Slips Out Of Reach
SEATTLE — Chris Johnson of the Tennessee Titans became the sixth player in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season Sunday.
The second-year back ran right, cut back inside and jumped over a teammate for a 4-yard gain early in the fourth quarter of a 17-13 win over at Seattle.
Game officials tossed the ball to the Titans’ sideline as Johnson joined Eric Dickerson, Jamal Lewis, Barry Sanders, Terrell Davis and O.J. Simpson in the 2,000-yard club.
Otherwise, there was little acknowledgment of Johnson’s second major milestone of the day, which came on his 32nd carry and while Seattle’s Colin Cole was helped off with an injury.
Moments earlier, a holding penalty negated what would have been a far flashier way for Johnson to reach the milestone: a 62-yard touchdown romp that would have given him a chance at the all-time rushing record.
Tennessee’s linemen raised their arms skyward behind the play and Johnson was set to break into a celebration dance in the back of the end zone – before they all realized referee Ed Hochuli had thrown a penalty flag near the line of scrimmage.
Had Hochuli not called holding on fullback Ahmard Hall’s lead block, Johnson would have had 182 of the 234 yards he needed to break Dickerson’s record of 2,105 yards rushing set in 1984.
Johnson simply put his hands on his hips and jogged to the sideline for a two-play breather, resigned to settling for the 2,000-yard plateau.
In the second quarter, Johnson set the NFL record for yards from scrimmage in a season on a 9-yard pass from Vince Young. That broke Marshall Faulk’s 1999 record and gave Johnson 2,254 yards from scrimmage.
Later in the opening half, he passed Earl Campbell’s franchise record of 1,934 yards rushing set in 1980. He finished the season with 2,006 yards.
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