Chris Johnson ran a 4.2 40 at the NFL Combine in 2008. He ran for 197 yards and 2 touchdowns on 16 carries last week. He's as much of a gamebreaker as Andre Johnson and Randy Moss. The Jets don't have to scheme around gamebreaking receivers. They can just tell Darrelle Revis to cover them. Running backs are a different story.
For starters, the tackling needs to be sure. When you blitz as much as the Jets do, there's nobody deep. That makes it dangerous against deep throws. It also makes it dangerous against backs with breakaway speed. If a guy like Johnson gets into the secondary, he's impossible to catch from behind.
One thing that makes me feel good is the matchup in the middle of the line, Kris Jenkins against longtime Jets standout Kevin Mawae. Jenkins won this battle a year ago. We all know how great Mawae is, but the now 38 year old struggled against Jenkins' power attack. It's important to get a push up the middle. You want Johnson using his speed to go East to West, not North to South. Sometimes he'll hit the corner but not always.
As we discussed yesterday, one possibility is sending blitzes at Johnson instead of Kerry Collins. At the end of the day, though, the best defense will be the offense getting off to a quick start. Last year, the Jets jumped all over the Titans and forced them to abandon the run game, holding Johnson to 10 carries on which he had 46 yards. That and hit him hard. Johnson's a small back. Rex Ryan's Ravens knocked him out of their Divisional Playoff game last year.
LenDale White is Tennessee's second back. He's more of a power runner and should be easier to contain as long as the front seven holds its own.