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Larry Johnson: The Real Deal...or Not?

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  • Larry Johnson: The Real Deal...or Not?

    Like most of you, I've been sitting here listen to the Chief blowhards claim that Larry Johnson is going to run wild this season, run for 2000 yards and all that jazz. I can't speak for the rest of you, but I just have never been that impressed with Larry Johnson. Sure he's a good running back, just something about him doesn't make me afraid of him. I thought I'd take a little initative and breakdown his 2005 performance by studying his performances and the opponets rush defense rankings. Please note that all rush defense rankings are based off of yards surrendered per game.

    Lets begin...

    Week 1 vs NY Jets: 9 carries 110 yards 2 touchdowns.
    Defensive rank: 29th (137 yards per game.)

    Week 2 vs. Raiders: 9 carries for 41 yards 1 touchdown.
    Defensive rank: 25th (128 yards per game.)

    Week 3 vs. Broncos: 8 carries for 13 yards and 1 fumble
    Defensive rank: 2nd (85 yards per game.) Note: Larry Johnson cost his team a touchdown when he fumbled inside the Chiefs 20 yard line. Denver scored on the next play.

    Week 4 vs. Eagles: 7 carries for 34 yards and 1 fumble
    Defensive rank: 21st (118 yards per game)

    Week 5 vs. Redskins: 13 carries for 53 yards
    Defensive rank: 13th (105 yards per game)

    Week 6 vs. Miami: 23 carries for 93 yards 1 touchdown
    Defensive rank: 17th (111 yards per game)

    Week 7 vs. Chargers: 6 carries for 55 yards
    Defensive rank: 1st (84 yards per game) Note: 46 yards came on a single run

    Week 8 vs. Raiders: 22 carries for 107 yards 2 touchdowns
    Defensive rank: 25th (128 yards per game.)

    Week 9 vs. Buffalo: 27 carries for 132 yards
    Defensive rank: 31st (137 yards per game)

    Week 10 vs. Texans: 36 carries for 211 yards 2 touchdowns
    Defensive rank: 32nd (144 yards per game)

    Week 11 vs. Patriots: 31 carries for 119 yards 1 touchdown and a fumble
    Defensive rank: 8th (99 yards per game) Note: Only averaged 3.8 yards per carry.

    Week 12 vs. Denver: 30 carries for 140 yards 2 touchdowns
    Defensive rank: 2nd (85 yards per game.)

    Week 13 vs. Dallas: 26 carries for 143 yards 3 touchdowns
    Defensive rank: 15th (108 yards per game)

    Week 14 vs. Giants: 31 carries for 167 yards 2 touchdowns
    Defensive Rank: 12th (104 yards per game)

    Week 15 vs. Chargers: 32 carries for 131 yards 1 touchdown and 1 fumble
    Defensive rank: 1st (84 yards per game)

    Week 16 vs. Bengals: 26 carries for 201 yards 3 touchdowns and 1 fumble
    Defensive Rank: 20th (116 yards per game) Note: A throwaway game for the Bengals, with KC fighting for it's playoff lives.

    So what conclusion can we draw from this? Well, lets look at some of the facts. The thing that sticks out the most is that Johnson rushed for 836 yards against teams ranked 20th or worse in rush defense, which accounts for 48% of his rushing yardage. Last year, Johnson faced a top 10 rush defense 5 times, rushing for over 100 yards 3 times, however it should be noted that in 2 of those games he rushed for only 3.8 and 4.1 ypc respectively. Now we've all heard the arguments he didn't get enough carries early on, to which I reply that if he had been effective, he would have gotten the carries. Johnson played well in 2004, and was NOT an unknown commodity.

    Now I'm not saying he's not a good running back, and I'm not saying he won't have a good season, but I think the numbers show for themselves that Larry Johnson's numbers are skewed by games against poor rush defenses.

  • #2
    LJ = overatted

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    • #3
      Hoo boy, here we go.

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      • #4
        uh, oh...I think you just opened pandora's box on the OM

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        • #5
          waiting for bobs stat explosion.........

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          • #6
            I'm waiting for Bob's reply. I had barely posted the thread and 5 seconds later he was viewing it.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Florida_Bronco
              Now we've all heard the arguments he didn't get enough carries early on, to which I reply that if he had been effective, he would have gotten the carries.
              Your reply holds little water.

              Johnson wasn't starting. He wasn't going to get many carries regardless, because Dick Vermeil was in love with Priest Holmes.

              You'd have a point if Larry had faltered against some of the tougher run defenses. He didn't. He's for real.

              San Diego's run defense is beastly. And he owned those suckers.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Clockwork Orange
                Hoo boy, here we go.
                My thoughts exactly

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                • #9
                  I don't care what you say, had he been effective he would have been out on that field getting carries.

                  He also didn't "own" the Chargers run defense. He was making 4.1 ypc in that game, which is good, but far from "owning" them.

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                  • #10
                    I dunno, 4 out of the last 5 games were good defenses and he still got his. I question if he can run 30-40 times a game for an whole season though. He didn't get that many carries the first few weeks, so he was pretty fresh late in the season. I would suspect as a full time starter he will still get good yardage, but 2000 is doubtful.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Florida_Bronco
                      Now I'm not saying he's not a good running back, and I'm not saying he won't have a good season, but I think the numbers show for themselves that Larry Johnson's numbers are skewed by games against poor rush defenses.
                      Actually, I think the better argument is he's a product of his offensive line. Calculate any stat last year from before Roaf came back vs after Roaf came back. With KC's intact OL last year, he ran roughshod. Before that, he was OK.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Florida_Bronco
                        I don't care what you say, had he been effective he would have been out on that field getting carries.
                        You're wrong. We had this stupid system where Priest got two possessions and Larry would get one. Rinse, wash, repeat. Larry had zero chance of getting more than 8-10 carries.

                        It didn't allow either running back to reach his full potential. Priest was pitiful.

                        He also didn't "own" the Chargers run defense. He was making 4.1 ypc in that game, which is good, but far from "owning" them.
                        OK. So Larry's yards per carry goes down against good run defenses.

                        Guess what? So does almost every running back across the board. Terrell Davis didn't average 5 yards per carry against the Chiefs in 1997.

                        I watched that game. Larry was plowing through Chargers like they were little boys. The crowd was chanting his name at the end. It was a dominating performance. They could not stop him. It was a rainy, muddy today, and the field was sloppy. Neither team had much success throwing the ball. It was LJ versus LT and LJ won the day.

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                        • #13
                          I think it's an interesting topic, but this thread can go nowhere but to the Butt with all the flaming that will ensue.

                          I think you gotta cut LJ some slack early, because him sitting, IMO, was not due to lack of talent. It was still Priest's spot.

                          I think he's pretty damn good though. We'll see this year how much he lives up to the hype.

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                          • #14
                            This thread is retarded... 1700 yds

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by fdf
                              Actually, I think the better argument is he's a product of his offensive line. Calculate any stat last year from before Roaf came back vs after Roaf came back. With KC's intact OL last year, he ran roughshod. Before that, he was OK.
                              Larry averaged over five yards per carry when Roaf was out of the lineup.

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