This weekend while watching the Ravens vs the Tennessee Titans, I asked my friend if Derrick Henry is the best RB of the past decade other than Lesean McCoy. He replied “I am not even sure he is the best Titans running back of all time.” His reply was very interesting because Chris Johnson AKA CJ2k is not ever mentioned with the greats yet he should be in that class.
Is CJ2k a Hall of Famer?
CJ2k did not have the rise to stardom as some of the big recruit big program running backs such as Derrick Henry. Considered only a two-star recruit by Rivals.com, Johnson was not ranked among the nation’s top running back prospects in 2004. He selected East Carolina over USF, Eastern Kentucky and UConn. He was a track stand out with the 24th fastest 100 meter time during his Senior year of High School in 2004.
CJ2k dealt with injuries throughout college in his first three seasons, he was known as just a return specialist. After rushing for over 1400 yards and 24 total touchdowns, CJ2k landed first team CUSA as a returner and second team CUSA as a running back.
Prior to the NFL Scouting Combine, Johnson was projected as a second- to third-round draft pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. However, at the combine he registered a time of 4.24 seconds and broke the all-time mark set by Rondel Menendez, a wide receiver from Eastern Kentucky, in 1999—the first year the combine used electronic timers (his record was later broken by John Ross in 2017 with a time of 4.22).
Due to his incredible time, Johnson was drafted by the Titans in the first round with the 24th overall pick. Johnson went on to have an incredible career from the second he entered the NFL..
Johnson made a the Pro Bowl three times, won the Offensive Player of the Year award once, first team All Pro once and also has one rushing title.
He has a bunch of NFL Records as well…
- Only player in NFL history with a touchdown of 50 yards, 60 yards, and 90 yards in one game. (a 57-yard rush, a 69-yard reception, and a 91-yard rush during Week 2 against the Texans, 2009)
- Most total scrimmage yards in one single season: 2,509 (2009)
- Most total scrimmage yards in one month: 968 (November 2009)
- Only player in NFL history with 6 touchdown runs of over 80 yards (80, 83, 85, 89, 91, 94). No other player has more than four.
- Only player in NFL history with 4 touchdown runs of over 85 yards (85, 89, 91, 94).
- Only player in NFL history to run for three 80-yard touchdown runs in a single season on more than one occasion (2009, 2012).
- First player in NFL history with 6 consecutive games of 125+ rushing yards and a 5.0+ yards per carry average (Breaking Jim Brown’s record set in 1958 of five consecutive games).
- First player in NFL history with at least 1,900 rushing yards and 400 receiving yards in the same season (2009)
- First player in NFL history with at least 1,900 rushing yards and 50 receptions in the same season (2009)
- Second most consecutive games rushing for more than 100 yards (12, 10/18/09 – 9/12/10, first is Barry Sanders with 14).
- One of two players to have 2,000 rushing yard in a season but under 10,000 in a career (other is Terrell Davis).
With all of these accolades is Chris Johnson a Hall of Famer?
Now this is tough because he was one of the best running backs in the NFL once his career started yet his prime only lasted about six seasons. He is currently 35th on the All Time Rushing Leader List.
I would vote CJ2k in as a Hall of Famer but I do not believe he will get into the Hall of Fame. Not hitting the 10k yard mark hurts him as well as his end of career being a drastic fall from the CJ2k we all knew. He was one of the best running backs of his time but I do not think the media will vote in a running back who is 35th on the rushing leader list despite Johnson have a bunch of NFL records and being in the elite 2,000 yard club.
Let me know if you agree!