Stats & Info: Chris Johnson

Johnson back to 2013 form

July, 3, 2014
Jul 3
12:29
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Remember last season when Atlanta Braves third baseman Chris Johnson came out of nowhere to contend for a batting title?
Chris Johnson
Johnson


After a slow start, Johnson is on another big tear.

He’s hitting .366 in his past 23 games after registering two hits and three RBIs in a 3-1 win over the New York Mets. The Braves have won a season-high seven straight games. They're 15-2 this season when he has an RBI.

Johnson garnered attention on May 23 when he threw a tantrum in the Braves dugout. He’s raised his batting average 19 points since then to its current .284.

How he’s hitting
Johnson ranks among the game’s top line-drive hitters. His 24 percent line-drive rate over the past two seasons ranks 25th-best in the majors. He’s upped that rate to 31 percent over his past 23 games.

He’s also in the midst of an unusual run when he hits ground balls. The ground-ball double he hit past diving Mets third baseman Eric Campbell plated all three Braves runs on Wednesday.

It was his 16th hit on his past 40 ground balls (a .400 batting average). He totaled 16 hits on his first 79 ground balls prior to this hot streak.

Right now, if a pitch is in the strike zone, Johnson isn’t missing it. He’s hitting .449 over these 23 games when an at-bat ends with a pitch in the zone.

How do you get him out?
If Johnson has a vulnerability, it’s that he is a bit of a chaser -- he tends to swing at pitches that are out of the strike zone at a high rate. His 39 percent chase rate this season ranks fifth-highest in the majors and that chase rate has held during this hot streak.

A little ways to go
Johnson is still not to the level that he was last season. He’s walked only eight times in 333 plate appearances, so his on-base percentage is only .304 this season.

Johnson also is not hitting for power. He’s on pace for only six home runs this season, which would be half his 2013 total.

Top stats to know: 2014 NFL schedule

April, 23, 2014
Apr 23
8:34
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Jennifer Stewart/Getty ImagesThe 2014 NFL season will culminate at Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Sure it is April, but the 2014 NFL schedule has been released and that means it is time to get ready for a season full of intriguing matchups.

From high-profile veterans facing their former teams, to the 16th meeting between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, here is a look at some of the early highlights of the 2014 season:

Reunion games
DeSean Jackson, Steve Smith, Chris Johnson, Darrelle Revis, Jared Allen and Julius Peppers.

Those are just a handful of veterans released during the off-season who will have a chance to play against their former teams in 2014.

After a career year in 2013, Jackson was released by the Eagles this off-season. He will face the Eagles twice this season (Week 3 in Philadelphia and Week 16 in Washington).

Smith, the Panthers career leader in touchdowns, receptions and receiving yards, promised there would be "blood and guts everywhere" if he faced the Panthers in 2014 after being released by the team in March. As a member of the Baltimore Ravens, Smith will get a crack at the Panthers on Sept. 28 in Baltimore.

Johnson only joined the Jets a little more than a week ago, but he's already slated for a Tennessee reunion. Johnson and the Jets will travel to Tennessee Week 15 to take on the Titans. Johnson has posted six straight 1,000-yard seasons, the longest active streak in the NFL.

Allen signed a 4-year deal with the Bears at the end of March after spending six seasons in Minnesota. Allen led the NFL with 85.5 sacks during his Vikings tenure. Allen will face the Vikings twice this season (Week 11 and Week 17).

Peppers is now on the other side of the NFL's most-played rivalry after signing a three-year deal with the Packers in March just days after being released by the Bears. Peppers totaled 38 sacks in his four seasons in Chicago and made three Pro Bowls.

And a college reunion
Former Oregon head coach Chip Kelly and the Eagles will play the NFC West this season as part of the standard division rotation.

Kelly will have the opportunity to coach against former Pac-10 coaching rivals Pete Carroll (USC) and Jim Harbaugh (Stanford). As a head coach, Kelly was a combined 2-1 against Carroll and Harbaugh with a win over each.

Kelly and the Eagles will also travel to Indianapolis in Week 2 for a Monday Night Football showdown against former Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck. Kelly's Oregon teams were 2-1 against Stanford during Andrew Luck's collegiate career.

Top games
On Nov. 2, Manning and Brady will meet for the 16th time, including the playoffs, tied for the most between any pair of Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks.

Manning will also face his former team for the second time as the Broncos will host the Colts to open their season. Manning and the Broncos lost to the Colts 39-33 in 2013.

Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, the top two picks in the 2012 draft, will meet for the first time in Week 13. In their young careers, Griffin III is 12-16, while Luck is 22-10.

A rematch of last year's Super Bowl, Broncos-Seahawks, will also take place this season. The Seahawks' 35-point margin of victory in the Super Bowl is tied for the third largest in NFL history.

NFL combine: the long and short of things

February, 21, 2013
2/21/13
1:39
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Chris Humphreys/USA TODAY Sports Trindon Holliday was the shortest player in the NFL last season (5'5"), but he came up big in the playoffs, where he picked up a pair of return touchdowns against the Ravens.
On-field workouts at the 32nd annual National Invitational Camp, also known as the NFL Combine, will begin Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

There will be plenty of talk about heights, weights, wingspans and waistlines, but what does it all mean?

Is 6'5" really SHORT by offensive line standards? (yes)

Can a pass-rusher succeed if he's less than six feet tall? Elvis Dumervil (5'11") thinks so.

Here's everything you wanted to know about the NFL Combine:

40-YARD DASH
There's no more iconic drill at the combine than the 40-yard dash. But what does it mean when a guy has "4.3 speed"?

If a player truly runs the 40-yard dash in 4.3 seconds flat, he's in a small club. Since 2006, only six players have run a true 4.3-second 40-yard dash (or better), led by RB Chris Johnson (4.24).

While Johnson is a 3-time Pro Bowl selection, and only Adrian Peterson (7,508) has more rushing yards than Johnson over the last five seasons the rest of the names on this list have combined for zero Pro Bowl selections, and only Jacoby Ford, DeMarcus Van Dyke and Darrius Heyward-Bey are still active in the league.

Among QBs, it's no surprise that Robert Griffin III owns one of the best marks. The former Baylor track star ran a 4.41 at last year's combine, but since 2006, that's only the second-best time at his position.

Another QB from the Lone Star State, Texas A&M's Reggie McNeal, ran a 4.35 in 2006. McNeal finished his NFL career with just one rushing attempt for eight yards.

THE WONDERLIC TEST
The Wonderlic is a 50-question test administered to all combine participants that measures cognitive ability. The time limit is 12 minutes.

A score of 20 is indicative of “average” intelligence and roughly equivalent to an IQ of 100. Former Bengals punter Pat McInally, who attended Harvard, is the only NFL prospect known to have scored a perfect 50 on the test.
Miguel Cabrera
Kaepernick
Among QBs drafted over the last 2 years, Andrew Luck and Colin Kaepernick each scored 37, while Jake Locker (20) and Cam Newton (21) were less successful.

Although Wonderlic scores are not released to the public, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (another Harvard alum) is reported to have scored a 48, the highest among active players.

TALES FROM THE COMBINE
The combine is full of remarkable performances, positive and negative.

Last year, DT Dontari Poe boosted his draft stock when he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.98 seconds after weighing in at 346 pounds. He also showed off his strength with 44 repetitions on the bench press.
Miguel Cabrera
Johnson
In 2007, receiver Calvin Johnson wowed scouts with a 4.35 in the 40-yard dash...wearing borrowed shoes, as he'd originally intended not to run.

On the other hand, linebacker Vontaze Burfict shocked scouts in the wrong way last year with his time of 5.09 in the 40-yard dash.

In 2009, offensive lineman Andre Smith left the combine without informing officials. It was announced inside the stadium that his whereabouts were "unknown."

It all begins again on Saturday, when more than 300 invited prospects begin on-field workouts in Indianapolis.

Inside the run: Johnson's 94-yard dash

December, 17, 2012
12/17/12
11:58
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AP Photo/Wade PayneChris Johnson was too fast for anyone to catch on Monday Night.

Our Monday Night Football crew timed Chris Johnson’s 94-yard touchdown run in Monday’s win over the New York Jets at 10.78 seconds.

It was by far the highlight of a tough-to-watch contest, one in which the Tennessee Titans eliminated the Jets from postseason contention.

What else was of note about the run?

• It was the longest touchdown run in Titans history, breaking the mark previously set by Sid Blanks against the Jets in 1964 and tied by Johnson in 2009.

• It was the second-longest run from scrimmage in Monday Night Football history, surpassed only by Tony Dorsett’s 99-yard touchdown run for the Dallas Cowboys against the Minnesota Vikings in 1983.

• It was the longest touchdown run by anyone in the NFL since Chester Taylor's 95-yard TD run for the Minnesota Vikings in 2006.

• The Elias Sports Bureau notes that it made Johnson the third player in NFL history with multiple 90-yard touchdown runs, joining Bo Jackson and Ahman Green.

• It was the sixth touchdown run of at least 80 yards in Johnson’s career. No other player in NFL history has more than three. Johnson has three this season. He also had three in 2009.

•  Johnson had his second touchdown of 80 or more yards this season against a defensive unit's front line that has more defenders than available blockers (ie: a "loaded box.")

No other player in the NFL has any such touchdowns this season. Entering the game, Johnson had the second-most yards per rush (6.3) among qualified running backs against such defenses.

• Johnson had nearly as many rushing yards on that one play as the Jets had total yards in the first half (99).

• Johnson has 33 games with at least 100 rushing yards since 2008, most in the NFL in that span. The player with the next most: Adrian Peterson, with 30.

Why Jones-Drew could have a down season

September, 2, 2012
9/02/12
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Kim Klement/US PresswireMaurice Jones-Drew led the NFL in rushes and rushing yards last season.
Maurice Jones-Drew might be as valuable to the Jacksonville Jaguars as any player in the NFL is to his team. But don’t expect Jones-Drew to have the same impact this season.

Jones-Drew accounted for 47.7 percent of the Jaguars' offense last season, easily the highest percentage in the league. Only Ray Rice (38.2 percent) was even within 15 percentage points of him.

MJD’s percentage is the highest since O.J. Simpson accounted for 50.7 percent of the Buffalo Bills' offense in 1973, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

When Jones-Drew was on the field last season, the Jaguars averaged 4.4 yards per rush and had nine rushing touchdowns. When he was off the field, they averaged just 2.7 yards per rush and didn't score a single rushing touchdown in 250 plays. With Jones-Drew on the field, the Jags scored a touchdown twice as often as they did when he was off the field.

Since becoming the Jaguars' full-time starter in 2009, MJD leads the NFL in rushes and rush yards per game.

Expect 27-year-old Jones-Drew to have a down year after carrying the ball an NFL-high 343 times in 2011.

Since 2006, all eight running backs age 26 or older with at least 340 carries in the previous season saw a significant drop-off in rushing yards and touchdowns. Five of the eight running backs had more than 800 fewer yards the next season and seven of the eight had a drop-off of at least seven rushing touchdowns.

Here are the eight running backs since 2006 age 26 or older with at least 340 carries in the previous season:

• In 2009, Clinton Portis had almost 1,000 fewer rushing yards and eight fewer rushing touchdowns than 2008. And Michael Turner had 828 fewer yards and seven fewer touchdowns.

• In 2007, Larry Johnson had 1,230 fewer yards and 14 fewer touchdowns. LaDainian Tomlinson dropped by 341 yards and had 13 fewer touchdowns. And Rudi Johnson had 812 fewer yards and nine fewer touchdowns.

• In 2006, Tiki Barber, Edgerrin James and Shaun Alexander saw a drop-off. Barber dropped by only 198 rushing yards and four touchdowns. James had 347 fewer yards and seven fewer touchdowns. But the big drop-off was by Alexander. Coming off his record-setting 2005 campaign, he totaled nearly 1,000 fewer rushing yards and 20 fewer touchdowns.

For the second time in three seasons, Jones-Drew led the NFL in rush attempts between the tackles last year. In all, 51.3 percent of his attempts went up the middle, well above the league average of 39.8 percent. Since 2009, he has 100 more carries between the tackles than any other player.

On top of being such a workhorse, there’s the holdout factor. If Chris Johnson last season is any indication, Jones-Drew could be affected by missing training camp for so long. Johnson averaged 20 fewer rushing yards per game last season than he did in 2010. And how about Larry Johnson in 2007? He held out during training camp and ended up with 42 fewer rushing yards per game than he had the previous year.

Impact of Peterson's injury on power, speed

May, 9, 2012
5/09/12
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Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty ImagesAdrian Peterson continues to rehab from a knee injury he suffered in Week 16 against the Redskins.
The Minnesota stadium debate isn’t the only issue Vikings fans are monitoring closely this offseason.

Adrian Peterson is working to come back from a gruesome knee injury suffered late last season. Peterson worked out in front of the media on Wednesday, 137 days after tearing multiple ligaments in his left knee.

Peterson is the face of the Vikings franchise, and one of the most productive tailbacks in league history through his first five seasons.

Since his rookie year in 2007, Peterson leads the NFL with 6,752 rushing yards and 64 rushing touchdowns. He has joined LaDainian Tomlinson and Pro Football Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith and Eric Dickerson as the only players to ever amass 6,000 rushing yards and 60 rushing TD in their first five seasons.

Even if Peterson is able to return to the field early in 2012, there’s no guarantee he’ll be able to run with the same strength and speed as in the past.

Running behind a porous offensive line in 2011, Peterson did some of his best work after getting hit, averaging 2.5 yards per rush after contact. Among the 31 running backs who carried the ball at least 150 times last season, only Ben Tate (2.9) averaged more yards per carry after contact than Peterson.

Peterson may not have the same type of wheels as when he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.40 seconds at the 2007 NFL Scouting Combine. Still, he has the speed to break the long run. Over the last three seasons, only Chris Johnson (34) and Michael Turner (21) have more rushes of at least 25 yards than Peterson’s 20.

His knee injury stands as an early-season obstacle, Peterson stands to benefit as much as anyone from Minnesota’s selection of USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil with the fourth overall pick in last month’s draft. While Kalil’s pass protection is considered to be ahead of his run blocking, he’s sure to be an upgrade over the incumbent starter at left tackle, Charlie Johnson.

With Johnson starting all 16 games at left tackle in 2011, Peterson averaged just 3.8 yards per rush on his 30 carries around left tackle. Of the 27 players who rushed around left tackle at least 20 times last season, only three registered fewer yards per carry than Peterson.

In 2010, when Bryant McKinnie anchored the left side of the Vikings line, Peterson averaged 6.6 yards per rush on carries around left tackle, fifth most among NFL tailbacks.

Titans rely on Johnson as Saints march in

December, 9, 2011
12/09/11
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Chris Johnson
Johnson
After Week 9 of the 2011 NFL season, Chris Johnson ranked 28th in rush yards and last in yards per carry among the 52 qualifiers. He failed to reach at least 40 rush yards in four of those games after surpassing 40 yards in all but five games over his first three seasons combined.

Whether the sluggish start was due to rust from his prolonged holdout that cost him all of preseason or the fact that he had to learn a new offensive scheme in a condensed period, Johnson was simply not performing up to his standards.

Yet ever since a visit to the Carolina Panthers in Week 10, Johnson has been on a tear averaging 121.5 rush yards over the past four games.

A big reason why Johnson has gotten back on track is because he is doing a better job taking advantage when defenses do not stack the box. In situations where there are seven or fewer defenders in the box, Johnson has averaged 5.8 yards per carry over the past four weeks compared to 3.2 yards per carry over the first nine weeks.

As the season has gone on, new Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator, Chris Palmer, seems to have gained a better grasp as to what formations produce the best results in the running game. He has ditched many of the offensive sets involving fullback, Ahmard Hall, and has gone to more looks with Johnson as the lone running back which was a big part of the Titans’ success running the ball in recent years.

Over his first three seasons, the Titans used Johnson in singleback formations for 45 percent of his rushing attempts. That figure dropped to 36 percent through the first nine weeks this season, but has been at 46 percent over the past four weeks.

Johnson has in turn responded with 6.7 yards per carry in these sets during this stretch.

Credit should also be given to the Titans' offensive line for opening more holes as they were receiving partial blame early in the season for not producing adequate running lanes.

Their adjustments are evident by Johnson's yards gained before contact which accounted for 55 percent of his total rush yards during the first nine weeks but has risen to 68 percent over the last four weeks.

Johnson's recent resurgence happens to coincide with the visiting New Orleans Saints improvements in run defense. Through Week 9 the Saints had the league's worst run defense allowing 5.33 yards per carry.

Since then they have shaved nearly 1.5 yards off that average and have given up 3.92 yards per carry over the past four weeks.

The Saints have been particularly adept at stuffing rushes up the middle and to the left side of their defense. However, they are still struggling to defend rushes to their right side.

That location just happens to be where the Titans excel at rushing. Johnson leads the NFL in rushing yards to the left side of the offense (right side of defense) despite ranking 14th in the league in total rushing yards.

Even with Drew Brees on pace to set many passing records, controlling the ground game may be the key for the Saints. In their three losses they have given up 134 rush yards per game and have had trouble getting off the field.

The Saints have allowed 22 drives this season of five or more minutes, which is the third most in the NFL and have only forced a three-and-out on just 17.6 percent of opponents’ series which is also third worst in the league.

Why Chris Johnson's big plays plummeted

November, 1, 2011
11/01/11
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Chris Johnson's 2011 performance has been a huge drop-off from recent successes

Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson rushed for 2,006 yards in 2009, averaging 5.6 yards per rush. This season, Johnson is averaging half that, picking up just 2.8 yards per rush on 107 attempts.

What is particularly alarming for Johnson, who staged a preseason holdout before signing on September 1, is how much he’s declined.

From his rookie season in 2008 to 2010, Johnson was one of the most explosive running backs in the NFL. Johnson averaged nearly 2.5 rushes per game of at least 10 yards during that stretch, including an NFL-best 49 in 2009.

If he’d maintained that rate through the first seven games of the 2011 season, he should have 18 such rushes. He has only four. His backup, Javon Ringer, has five rushes of at least 10 yards in 72 fewer attempts.

The lack of big plays could be a result of limited work after contact. Johnson is averaging 1.3 yards per rush after contact this season. Only Thomas Jones (0.9) is doing worse among the 28 running backs with at least 50 attempts.

Johnson may also be hitting holes slower than usual. Johnson is averaging 1.5 yards per rush before contact, fifth-worst among rushers with 50 attempts. Johnson only leads Montario Hardesty, Deji Karim, Bernard Scott and Peyton Hillis in this category.

Opposing defenses have taken notice of Johnson’s struggles and are game-planning him differently this season. As Johnson's career has progressed, opponents have used pre-snap sets of seven or fewer defenders more often. Johnson has only 12 rushes this season with eight or more defenders in the box.

Roughly 11 percent of Johnson’s rushes this season have been against a loaded box -- when there are more defenders in the box than there are available blockers on offense. From 2008-10, almost twenty percent of his rushes were against loaded boxes.

In the history of the NFL, only six players have rushed for 2,000 yards in a single season, including Johnson. Of those running backs, none have averaged fewer than 3.0 yards per rush in any season in their career.

The worst season by a 2,000-yard rusher (minimum 100 rushes), was by Eric Dickerson in 1991. Dickerson averaged 3.2 yards per rush on 167 attempts for the Colts that season, seven years removed from his 2,105-yard season in 1984. Johnson is in danger of chasing that mark just two years after rushing for 2,006 yards.
One of the notable storylines in first three weeks of the NFL season – especially for fantasy football owners – is the poor start by Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson.

Chris Johnson
Johnson
After averaging more than four yards per attempt last year and ranking fourth in the NFL in total rushing yards, Johnson is averaging just 2.1 yards per carry this season, second-lowest in the league among all qualifiers. He has yet to reach the end zone and has surpassed the 50-yard mark in just one game.

How dramatic has this drop-off been for Johnson, who had rushed for at least 1,000 yards in each of his three previous seasons?

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the only other player in NFL history to have that low a yards-per-carry through his first three games of a season -- coming off even two-or-more consecutive 1,000-yard seasons -- was the Bengals’ Corey Dillon in 2000.

Johnson also has been known as one of the most explosive backs in the league. From 2009-10, he had 35 rushes of at least 20 yards, which was 14 more than the next-closest player, Adrian Peterson.

He has zero runs of 20-plus yards this season, and doesn’t even have a 10-yard rush. Elias also tell us that in his three NFL seasons prior to 2011, Johnson had never played even two consecutive games without a rush of at least 10 yards.

Part of what made Johnson such a threat in the open field was his ability to get out on the edges. Last year, he averaged five yards per carry on rushes outside the numbers and his 19 first downs on those runs was tied for third-most in the league. This year he’s averaging a yard per carry and has no first downs.

One issue that might be affecting Johnson is that his fullback, Ahmard Hall, was suspended for the first four games, and the Titans have had to use Quinn Johnson. The two backs have not clicked so far, as Johnson is averaging less than a yard per rush in two-running back formations this season.

Johnson should have a good opportunity to get back on track this week, as the Titans will be facing a Browns defense that is allowing 128.7 yards per game on the ground, which ranks 29th out of 32 NFL teams this year.
Chris Johnson
Johnson
The Tennessee Titans and holdout running back Chris Johnson agreed on a four-year, $53.5 million extension on Thursday. The league’s most prolific running back is now under contract through 2016.

Just three seasons into his NFL career, Johnson’s list of accomplishments is already long.

Since entering the league in 2008, no one has more rushing yards than Johnson. Of course, that includes the sixth 2,000-yard rushing season in NFL history.

Only two players -- Eric Dickerson (5,147) and Earl Campbell (5,081) -- accumulated more rushing yards in their first three seasons than Johnson (4,598). Meanwhile, his 4.97 yards per rush is the highest among running backs through three seasons (min. 600 attempts), topping Barry Sanders’ mark of 4.93.

But what exactly does Johnson mean to the Titans?

Since the start of 2008, no NFL running back has been used as the focal point of his team’s offense more than Johnson. He was the rusher, passer or targeted receiver on 1,110 of the Titans’ 2,869 plays in that span, which accounts for nearly 39 percent of the Titans offense.

Among the top five running backs in usage rate, not only is Johnson’s rate the highest, but he also averages the most yards per touch (5.3). Of all running backs with at least 500 touches over the last three seasons, Johnson’s yards per touch average ranks a close third behind Ray Rice (5.40) and DeAngelo Williams (5.37).

Since entering the league, Johnson has simply been the most explosive back in the game.

He leads all players in carries of 20, 30, 40 and 50 yards over the past three seasons. There have only been eight 20-yard rushing plays by Titans not named Chris Johnson during that span.

With a high usage rate and those big-yardage plays, it should come as no surprise that Johnson's ability to move the chains is integral to Tennessee's offense.

His 226 rushing and receiving first downs account for 30 percent of the Titans’ total first downs. Only Adrian Peterson and Maurice Jones-Drew have accounted for higher totals among all non-quarterbacks.

-- John McTigue contributed to this report
Peyton Manning
Manning
Peyton Manning entered Thursday night’s game against the Tennessee Titans on one of the worst stretches in his surefire NFL career.

He had thrown four interceptions in each of his last two games, and 11 over his last three. Those 11 picks are more than he had in any season from 2003-06. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he became the only active player to throw more than 10 picks over a three-game span. The last player to do it at all was Aaron Brooks in 2001.

Not strangely, his Indianapolis Colts lost all three of those games, dropping them to 6-6 on the season.

Thursday was a change of pace for Manning and the Colts. Their win moves them back over .500, with Manning going 25-35 for 319 yards and two touchdowns. And he didn’t throw any picks.

It was Manning’s 63rd career 300-yard passing game, tying Dan Marino for the NFL record. Manning also surpasses 4,000 passing yards for the 11th time in his illustrious career, five more times than any other player in NFL history.

Manning has now thrown for 26 touchdowns this season, his NFL-record 13th season with at least 25 touchdown passes. The only other player in NFL history with double digit seasons throwing 25 touchdowns is Brett Favre, who has done it 11 times.

The key to Manning’s success against the Titans was being able to throw the deep ball successfully. During Manning’s three-game slump, Manning completed 37.5 percent of his passes 15 or more yards downfield, with a 50.7 passer rating.

Thursday night, Manning completed all five passes he threw 15 or more yards downfield, with a perfect 158.3 passer rating, including a 19-yard strike to Pierre Garcon which gave the Colts a 21-0 lead late in the second quarter.

Chris Johnson
Johnson
For the Titans, the news was mixed on their superstars. Chris Johnson was back in form against the Colts, who are now 29th in the NFL in rushing defense.

Johnson had 111 rushing yards and 68 more receiving with a touchdown. Over his previous two games, Johnson had just 74 total yards and failed to find the end zone.

Kenny Britt caught four balls in his first game back from injury, but Randy Moss was not targeted with a pass for just the second time in his career. The other time was in Week 7 of the 2004 season, his final season with the Minnesota Vikings. Daunte Culpepper didn’t look Moss’ way, but the Vikings still won 20-3 over Moss’ current team, the Titans.
With tight end Dallas Clark out for the season, Peyton Manning has seen his fair share of heavy pass rushes in the last three games. As a result, his production in those situations has dropped.

In the last three games, opponents have brought at least five pass rushers on 38 percent of Manning’s drop backs. Manning’s been sacked four times and his completion percentage is 54.2. In the Colts’ first six games, Manning faced five pass rushers or more 21.9 percent of the time with a 61.1 completion percentage and was sacked just three times.

While Manning and the Colts miss Clark, Tom Brady and the Patriots are making the most of their tight ends. Brady has eight touchdown passes and no interceptions when targeting his tight ends with a passer rating of 130.5. Only Philip Rivers and David Garrard have higher passer ratings this season when targeting tight ends.

Brady was not sacked on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers and has been sacked 13 times this season. The Colts have, by far, the most conservative defense in terms of pass-rush numbers. Indianapolis has sent five pass rushers or more on less than 17 percent of opponent pass plays. The next lowest percentage is the Chiefs at 23 percent.

Packers at Vikings
Brett Favre leads the NFL with 16 interceptions. One reason for his high total is the fact that he’s underthrown receivers more often this season.

Half of his 16 picks are classified as passes that were underthrown, and five of those eight interceptions were on throws that were more than 10 yards downfield.

Last season, Favre was nearly perfect against the Packers’ blitz, completing 16 of 18 attempts with three touchdowns. However, in their Week 7 matchup last month, Green Bay blitzed more often and Favre was far from perfect, throwing two interceptions against the added pass rush.

Browns at Jaguars
Jaguars QB David Garrard has thrown 14 touchdowns and just one interception in five wins this season. In three losses (Garrard did not play in the Jaguars’ loss to the Chiefs), he has one TD pass and six picks.

Early in the season, Garrard struggled on passes that were more than 10 yards downfield, but has improved greatly over his last two games. He’s averaging more than 20 yards per pass attempt on throws 11 yards-or-more downfield with three touchdowns and no interceptions.
Every team in the NFL has played at least eight games. Each year since 2000, there has been at least one team (27 overall) that was .500 or worse at the halfway point of the season and made the playoffs. In fact, in each of the past four seasons, at least three teams started 4-4 or worse and rebounded to make the playoffs.

Currently, there are 17 teams that are no better than .500.
Michael Vick
Vick

• Not only is Michael Vick on the verge of passing Steve Young for the second-most rushing yards by a quarterback in NFL history, but his passing numbers have been spectacular. He has the highest passer rating in the NFL on attempts between 11-20 yards. No one else in the NFL has a passer rating above 118. And on deep throws (at least 21 yards), his 120.0 passer rating is currently third behind Vince Young and Ben Roethlisberger.

• From the Elias Sports Bureau: Terrell Owens has 41 receptions for 618 yards and seven touchdowns in the last five games, all of which have been Bengals losses. Seven other players in NFL history have had at least 40 catches for 600 yards and seven touchdowns in a five-game span, but Owens is the only one who's done it on a team that lost all five games.

• More from the Elias Sports Bureau: The Cleveland Browns' Colt McCoy is the only quarterback whose first three starts all came against former Super Bowl winning quarterbacks. (The Browns lost to Ben Roethlisberger in McCoy's first start, then beat Drew Brees and Tom Brady in his next two starts).

• Peyton Hillis is averaging a league-leading 9.3 yards per rush when running to the right this season; however, only 12 percent of Hillis’ rush attempts have been to the right side. Two-thirds of his carries have been up the middle, where he’s averaging four yards per rush.

• The Tennessee Titans' Chris Johnson will play his 40th game on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. Johnson has rushed for 3,955 yards and averaged 5.03 yards per carry. The only players in NFL history to rush for 4,000 yards and average at least five yards a carry in their first 40 games are Jim Brown, Clinton Portis and Adrian Peterson.

• Even when he’s isn’t carrying the ball, Johnson has a huge impact on opposing defenses. Vince Young has a perfect passer rating (158.3) on play-action throws of at least 15 yards this season. On throws downfield of at least 15 yards when he does not use play action, Young’s passer rating is just 55.4.
Sidney Rice
Rice

• Last season, Sidney Rice was the Minnesota Vikings leading receiver on passes thrown outside the field numbers, catching 39-of-59 passes and four of the Vikings 12 touchdowns. In eight games thus far, Minnesota has not had an outside threat, posting just three touchdowns on 92 targets.

• The Denver Broncos are the only team that does not have a rushing play of at least 20 yards this season; conversely, the Pittsburgh Steelers are the only team that has yet to allow a 20-yard running play. The Steelers opponent this week, the Patriots, have four players who have had at least one 20-yard running play this season.
The Jaguars' 30-3 loss to the Titans Monday was Jacksonville's worst home loss in team history. It was the Titans' largest margin of victory on the road since a 37-point win at Detroit in 2008. Jacksonville has been outscored 96-19 in its three losses this season. After four giveaways and no takeaways Monday, the Jaguars have a -7 turnover margin, second worst in the league behind the 49ers -8.

• Both starting quarterbacks -- Vince Young and David Garrard -- left early in the game with injuries forcing Kerry Collins and Trent Edwards to get considerable playing time. Collins made the most of it completing 11 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown. That gives Collins 3,307 career completions moving him past Hall of Famer Dan Fouts for 10th place all-time.

• Chris Johnson ran for 111 yards on Monday, giving him at least 100 rushing yards in each of his last eight road games, which is the second-longest such streak in NFL history. Barry Sanders had a 10-game streak over the 1996 and 1997 seasons. Entering Monday night, Johnson had been tied for the second-longest streak with Marcus Allen, who had a seven-game streak with the Los Angeles Raiders in 1985 and 1986. The last road game in which Johnson didn’t run for 100 yards was in Jacksonville last October 4.
A preview of the Monday Night Football game between the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars (coverage begins at 7 ET, ESPN).

Vince Young
Young
Vince Young is 4-2 in six starts against Jacksonville, but the Jaguars have limited him in those games to only 3.2 yards per carry on 40 runs. And Young's passing numbers are pedestrian: 56.7 percent completion percentage, 5.45 yards per pass, four touchdowns, eight interceptions and a passer rating of 58.7. According to The Elias Sports Bureau, Young's passer rating is the lowest for any quarterback against Jacksonville in Jaguars history (minimum: 150 pass attempts).

Other notes from The Elias Sports Bureau:
• Young has passed for 200 yards or more in a game only 12 times in his career, but he may be poised to do so tonight. The Jaguars have allowed at least 200 yards passing in each of their last 13 home games, tying an NFL record. The only other team that's allowed at least 200 yards passing in 13 straight home games was the Houston Texans, from 2003 to 2005.

• Rashean Mathis has six interceptions in 13 games against Tennessee: two off Steve McNair, one off Matt Mauck and three off Young. Mathis is the only NFL player with three picks off Young.

Nate Washington
Washington
• Nate Washington has a touchdown catch in each of his last four regular-season games against Jacksonville: Two with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2007 and 2008, and in each game with the Titans last season. Three other players (Carl Pickens, Jermaine Lewis and Eric Moulds) have caught touchdown passes in each of four straight games against Jacksonville; no player has done it in five consecutive games.

• Titans' running back Chris Johnson has run for 100 yards or more in each of his last seven road games, matching the second-longest such streak in NFL history. Barry Sanders had a 10-game streak over 1996 and 1997, and Marcus Allen had a seven-game streak with the Los Angeles Raiders in 1985-86.

• The Titans defense had six sacks against the Denver Broncos two weeks ago and six more in their win over the Dallas Cowboys last week. The last NFL team to produce at least six sacks in each of two straight games had been the New York Giants, early in 2008. Only one team in the past 20 years did that in each of three consecutive games: 1999 St. Louis Rams did it during their 13-3 regular season en route to beating the Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV.

• Barring a tie in tonight's game, there will be 13 teams in sole possession or tied for first place in their divisions. That will be the highest total in any season since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. The next-highest total was 12 teams with at least a share of first place through six weeks in 2008.

• And last, but certainly not least, the team that has won the coin toss on Monday Night Football this season is 6-0.

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