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View Full Version : Johnson is Chargers' Kryptonite


Count Zarth
10-24-2006, 10:18 AM
http://www.realfootball365.com/nfl/articles/2006/10/chiefs-lj-chargers241006.html

Dec. 24, 2005 - The Kansas City Chiefs line up with two tight ends on third-and-long in the red zone. Surprisingly, they hand the ball off to Larry Johnson, who sidesteps a linebacker, runs over a defensive back and picks up a first down.

Oct. 22, 2006 - The Kansas City Chiefs line up with two tight ends on third-and-long in the red zone. Surprisingly, they hand the ball off to Larry Johnson, who sidesteps a linebacker, runs over a defensive back, picks up a first down and scores.

The common thread between these two plays? The San Diego Chargers ' defense.

Practice makes perfect, I guess.

What exactly happened inside Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday? Johnson came into the game averaging just 3.4 yards per carry. The Chiefs, former owners of a long-feared rushing attack, were ranked 25th.

Johnson had totaled a whopping 62 yards rushing in his previous two starts. Now he had to play the big, bad, mean San Diego defense. The top defense in the NFL. The one with the players who chew up running backs and spit them out on their way to the quarterback.

Three hours later, after the dust settled, Johnson had piled up 132 yards rushing and two touchdowns, just as he had piled up 131 yards rushing and two touchdowns a year ago in the same game.

Defensive backs and linebackers littered the field in Johnson's wake. The Chiefs ran the ball so effectively that tight end Tony Gonzalez looked like he had just graduated from Cal, running down the field unchecked, dragging would-be tacklers into the next state and averaging over 20 yards a catch.

It was a contest so reminiscent of last year's Charger game in Kansas City, that if you squinted, Chiefs left tackle Jordan Black almost looked like Willie Roaf, clearing gaping holes for Johnson to stomp through.

The Chiefs seemingly had the game in hand at halftime, leading 20-6. But not so fast, said Marty Schottenheimer. A quick touchdown made it 20-13, and suddenly all the momentum was on San Diego's sideline. What would the Chiefs do?

You know what they did. They gave the ball to Johnson.

Sure, the Chiefs got some dramatic, late-game heroics to win the game. That was fun to watch. But this game was won in the third quarter. It was won by Johnson.

After San Diego's touchdown closed the gap, the Chiefs took over from their own 11-yard line. It was the perfect opportunity for San Diego's vaunted defense to force a stop and give Philip Rivers some field position.

Johnson had other ideas. The Chiefs grinded their way downfield. They picked up 89 yards in 14 plays, burning almost eight minutes off the clock. It was the kind of drive Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards has wet dreams about.

And it was all L.J. He touched the ball seven times on the drive and picked up 60 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown plunge that put all the pressure back on the Chargers.

And like the earlier play in the red zone on third down, the drive was remarkably similar to last year's game against the Chargers in Arrowhead. The Chiefs had a 16-play drive in the third and fourth quarters of that game that burned almost 10 minutes off the clock, and Johnson touched the ball 10 times.

The Arizona Cardinals held Johnson to 36 yards rushing a few weeks ago. The Chargers, even helped by steroids, had no answer for him.

So what happened? Who knows. You can't predict what any NFL running back will do from one week to the next.

Unless, of course, Larry Johnson is facing the San Diego Chargers .

Easy 6
10-24-2006, 10:19 AM
Superman

HC_Chief
10-24-2006, 10:20 AM
pfft

For LJ to be kryptonite one must first assume SD = Superman. Ha! Hardly. SD has feasted upon sub-.500 teams this season. They are paper tigers.

Lzen
10-24-2006, 10:30 AM
The Chargers, even helped by steroids, had no answer for him.

:LOL: Nice jab.

Calcountry
10-24-2006, 10:56 AM
"Wet dreams". You have to keep the Freudian slips out of your articles Chiefie.

noa
10-24-2006, 11:20 AM
It was a contest so reminiscent of last year's Charger game in Kansas City, that if you squinted, Chiefs left tackle Jordan Black almost looked like Willie Roaf, clearing gaping holes for Johnson to stomp through.



I'm excited about the play of the OLine and all, but this is taking it way too far. Jordan Black should never ever ever ever be compared to Willie Roaf, even if he has a good game and I'm squinting as much as humanly possible.

Kyle401
10-24-2006, 11:43 AM
ground not grinded, and the wet dreams comment was a little juvenile.

Pretty good article otherwise.

bkkcoh
10-24-2006, 11:47 AM
pfft

For LJ to be kryptonite one must first assume SD = Superman. Ha! Hardly. SD has feasted upon sub-.500 teams this season. They are paper tigers.


But I thought that SD had been annointed as the best team in the NFL!

mac58
10-24-2006, 12:00 PM
nice avatar gochiefs

penchief
10-24-2006, 12:51 PM
The premise is good. And focusing on the second chiefs position of the third quarter as the most important of the game is accurate, IMO. I thought that drive was as impressive as any in the Vermeil era. It was a snapshot of what we can be.

I thought it was put up or shut up time for both LJ and Herm and that drive won the game, IMO. Martyball comes through and survives for at least one more week in KC. However, the biggest and maybe only, difference between Marty and Herm may ultimately be LJ.

Count Zarth
10-24-2006, 01:01 PM
Marty has shed his conservative mantle. San Diego came out passing. I'm convinced he's a changed man.

Although the playoffs are a different animal.

jidar
10-24-2006, 01:03 PM
pretty good work. read it to the end

noa
10-24-2006, 01:04 PM
Marty has shed his conservative mantle. San Diego came out passing. I'm convinced he's a changed man.

Although the playoffs are a different animal.


Did you see the end of the Chargers vs. Ravens game? That was classic Martyball. The three games they have played since do not undo his entire career and philosophy.

Count Zarth
10-24-2006, 01:07 PM
Did you see the end of the Chargers vs. Ravens game? That was classic Martyball. The three games they have played since do not undo his entire career and philosophy.

I suppose, and that Ravens game is a good example, but I felt even last year he was shedding his conservative snakeskin.

San Diego has been a passing team since that Ravens game.

noa
10-24-2006, 01:09 PM
I suppose, and that Ravens game is a good example, but I felt even last year he was shedding his conservative snakeskin.

San Diego has been a passing team since that Ravens game.

Yeah, I definitely think he's not as conservative as he used to be. I think LT has thrown 3 or 4 touchdowns in the last two seasons. I also think he's being more experimental with their two-back formations. Still, I think he'll always be more conservative than the average coach.

Count Zarth
10-24-2006, 01:13 PM
Speaking of halfback passes, why don't we bust one out? As much trouble as we've had in the red zone this year, it would probably work.

Redrum_69
10-24-2006, 01:24 PM
Maybe I should start writing articles for Warpaint.....

milkman
10-24-2006, 09:50 PM
Yeah, I definitely think he's not as conservative as he used to be. I think LT has thrown 3 or 4 touchdowns in the last two seasons. I also think he's being more experimental with their two-back formations. Still, I think he'll always be more conservative than the average coach.

Marty was conservative in KC, because he didn't have the personnel to run the offense less conservatively.

In Cleveland, with Kosar, and a pretty good group of receivers, he was far less consevative.

Now that he has the weapons to owrk with, he once again has opened up the offense.

His downfall is, and always has been, his fear of mistakes once his teams get into the playoffs.

Unless he overcomes that fear, and plays the game in the playoffs with the same approach as the regular season, he'll continue to come up short when it matters.

carlos3652
10-24-2006, 09:52 PM
"Johnson is Chargers' Kryptonite"

didnt you post that on the chargers board before you got banned for being a troll... lol

I thought it was a good read...