Tennessee RB Chris Johnson: Monster or myth?


Tennessee RB Chris Johnson: Monster or myth?

The mantra of the Chicago Bears defense is to take away an opponents run game and make that team one-dimensional, then loose the pass rush.

The stop-run concept is sound. The Bears have not allowed a 100-yard rusher in 18 straight games, not since Jahvid Bests 163 in the first Detroit game last season.

Whether that is a good approach to the Tennessee Titans, however, is a matter of opinion. It may be in their best interests to just let former All-Pro Chris Johnson run.

The Bears completely throttled Johnson the last time the two teams met (2008), allowing him just eight yards in 14 carries. The Bears lost that game 21-14 because they couldnt control journeyman QB Kerry Collins.

Making nice-nice

The Bears are paying the standard game-week compliments.

Chris Johnson is a homerun hitter, said linebacker Lance Briggs.

So is Adam Dunn for the White Sox and he strikes out a lot. A lot.

Johnson may well run amok. He has in his career, with an NFL-record four touchdown runs of 80 yards or longer. Not Barry Sanders, O.J. Simpson nor anyone else has done that more than three times.

He exploded on the NFL with 2,006 yards in 2009, his second season. But the Titans were an 8-8 team that year and have only had one winning season (2011, 9-7) since Johnsons rookie season.

And the Bears are the NFLs best rushing defense at 77.9 yards per game.

Big stats vs. bad teams

But Johnson has been less than impressive over the past three years against good teams. Of his last 12 games rushing for 100 yards, only two have come against teams with winning records.

Johnson had four 100-yard games in 2011, against Buffalo, Tampa Bay, Carolina and Cleveland, teams with a combined record of 20-44. None of the four ranked higher than 25th against the run. His peak was 190 against the Buccaneers 32nd-ranked run defense.

This year, Johnson ran for 141 yards against the Houston Texans; the Titans were blown out by 24. He ran for 195 yards against Buffalo. The Titans needed a Matt Hasselbeck TD pass with 1 minute to play for a 35-34 escape from a team that is the NFLs worst against the run and close to firing defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt.

The Titans lavished a four-year contract extension worth as much as 53.5 million prior to last season. They have not gotten their moneys worth, although Johnson helped set the market in which Matt Forte was working this year when he got his new deal done.

But while Hasselbeck has done damage to the Bears, Johnson is the declared source of most concern.

Hes lightning. He can hit a hole with a great deal of quickness, but its his ability to cut back and break outside, said defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli. I mean, hes something.

Just what exactly isnt always or entirely clear.

Which current Blackhawks would Jeremy Roenick like to play with?

Which current Blackhawks would Jeremy Roenick like to play with?

Is there anyone who wouldn't want to play with Patrick Kane?

Jeremy Roenick joined In The Loop on Wednesday to discuss which current Blackhawks he would like to play with, and naturally, the reigning MVP topped his list.

"He would be my No. 1 choice," Roenick said. "There's no question about it."

But Roenick said there are two more Blackhawks he would like to lace them up with.

"I wouldn't mind playing with (Artemi) Panarin also," he said. "I would love to play with Jonathan Toews. I think I'd play well with all three of them."

Roenick also gave high praise to coach Joel Quenneville, saying he is one of the best coaches in all of sports. Roenick even compared Quenneville to "the Bill Belichick of hockey."

See what else the Roenick had to say in the video above.

Big Ten Talk Podcast: Picking contenders and pretenders in the Big Ten title race


Big Ten Talk Podcast: Picking contenders and pretenders in the Big Ten title race

Welcome to the first Big Ten Talk Podcast of basketball season.

The Big Ten season is off to an intriguing start despite there not being an overwhelming of standout teams looking capable of challenging for a national championship.

But one of these teams is guaranteed to win at least a league title.

In this episode of the Big Ten Talk Podcast, CSN's Vinnie Duber and Matt Maniscalco go team by team to decide who's a contender and who's a pretender in the conference-title race.

Plus, they take in-depth looks at where Northwestern and Illinois stand — and which direction each program is heading — at this point in the season.

Take a listen below: