..."O" Line, and as much as I hate to admit it; perhaps Turnstile Turley being absent may have had a little to do with it.
Jacksonville waters down KC run game
By BLAIR KERKHOFF
The Kansas City Star
Kansas City’s Larry Johnson hasn’t looked like a player who has gained more than 1,700 yards two seasons in a row. Jaguars defenders like Daryl Smith (left) and Rob Meier were all over him Sunday.
Michael Bennett isn’t sure whether fellow Chiefs running back Larry Johnson hits the links.But if he did, “he’d do anything he could to win,” Bennett said. “He’s a competitor in anything and everything he does. Video games, golf, anything, you name it — Larry Johnson wants to be best at what he does. That’s why it hurts.”
Johnson suffered through one of the least productive games of his career with nine rushing attempts for 12 yards and five receptions for 3 yards in Sunday’s 17-7 loss to Jacksonville.
The afternoon was dreadful for Johnson, who has amassed more than 4,000 rushing and receiving yards over the previous two years. But Sunday’s production was more the rule than the exception this season.
After finishing last season with nine straight 100-yard games, Sunday marked the fourth time in five games Johnson has gained 55 or fewer yards.
Last week appeared to be his breakout game, a 123-yard performance at San Diego. But Sunday, Johnson could find no seams or space, only walls of Jaguars defenders.
Johnson didn’t stick around to talk about it, but teammates knew nobody would be harder on Johnson than he would after the Chiefs fell to 2-3.
“He’s his biggest critic,” tight end Tony Gonzalez said. “He doesn’t need someone like me or the media or anybody else to light a fire under him. He’s self-motivated. He wants to be the best, and I’m sure this is eating at him right now.”
The Chiefs’ running game was a disaster — 10 yards in 10 attempts for the second-worst rushing performance in franchise history. Bennett lost 2 on his lone try.
“I couldn’t care less how many times we have to run it and how many times we have to throw it to win a football game,” offensive guard Brian Waters said. “There have been teams with this kind of performance and have won the game.
“They wanted to stop the run, and they did a good job of it.”
Jacksonville focused on Johnson.
“Our key coming in was to stop him, because he’s such a great back,” Jaguars cornerback Rashean Mathis said. “We knew if we stopped him, they’d have a long day.”
Johnson never got started. His longest run was 7 yards, which means his eight other attempts netted 5 yards.
“For a guy of his caliber, a big physical running back and the way he plays, to hold him to (12 yards), that’s a good job as a defense,” linebacker Clint Ingram said. “We take pride in something like that.”
And the Chiefs’ pride gets punctured.
“I really can’t explain it,” Chiefs quarterback Damon Huard said of the team’s lack of rushing production. “We have the guys to get the job done, and we have to get it corrected.”
LJ’s woes continue
Larry Johnson had his lowest rushing total as a starter Sunday against Jacksonville.
DateOpponentCar.Yds. SundayJacksonville912 Oct. 15, ’06Pittsburgh1526 Oct. 8, ’06Arizona1636 Jan.6, ’07Indianapolis1332 Sept. 23, ’07Minnesota2442 Sept. 9, ’07Houston1043 Jan. 2, ’05San Diego1746
This was just a poor performance by a pro team.
Official thread killer I have heard.