SEATTLE – Chris Johnson’s blockers grinned widely as they posed for pictures on an emptying field, standing behind a young rusher they turned into a star.
Their Titan had his 2K.
Johnson became the sixth player in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season, then scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 1-yard run with 4:33 remaining to send Tennessee to a 17-13 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in the season finale Sunday.
The second-year dynamo ran right, cut back inside and jumped over center Kevin Mawae for a 4-yard gain early in the fourth quarter to join Eric Dickerson, Jamal Lewis, Barry Sanders, Terrell Davis and O.J. Simpson in the 2,000-yard club.
Dickerson is the only one to have done it as early into his career as the 24-year-old from East Carolina.
“There are a lot of great backs that have played this game that have never reached that milestone,” said veteran tight end Alge Crumpler, who was hugging Johnson before and during the game. “For C.J. to do it at such a young age is a phenomenal performance.”
The durable Johnson ran 36 times – three short of Earl Campbell’s franchise record set in 1981 against Seattle – for 134 yards and both of the touchdowns for the Titans (8-8), against a Seahawks defense that banged him repeatedly while geared to stop him from making history.
“Those were hard yards today,” Titans coach Jeff Fisher said. “And you have to compliment him, because throughout the season he practiced every single day. I think he took two days off the whole season.
“That’s an amazing feat.”
Johnson finished with 2,006 yards. But his teammates and his coach rued a penalty that negated his only breakout run of the day – and a shot at the biggest record: Dickerson’s mark of 2,105 yards rushing set in 1984.
In the second quarter, Johnson set the NFL record for yards from scrimmage in a season on a 9-yard pass from Vince Young. That broke Marshall Faulk’s 1999 record of 2,429 yards.
Justin Forsett ran 10 times for 74 yards for the Seahawks (5-11), who have won nine games in two seasons. It’s their worst two-year run since 1992-93.
Matt Hasselbeck was 15 for 30 with a touchdown, but he threw a harried interception at the Titans 27 on fourth down with 1:19 remaining. It was his 10th turnover in his last three games.
“If you have a season like this, you got to really take a long, hard look in the mirror, each of us,” said Hasselbeck, who set a career high with 17 interceptions.
“It’s just disappointing, frustrating.”
Titans 17, Seahawks 13
Ten—Johnson 6 run (Bironas kick)
Sea—Carlson 6 pass from Hasselbeck (Mare kick)
Sea—FG Mare 35
Ten—FG Bironas 47
Sea—FG Mare 20
Ten—Johnson 1 run (Bironas kick)
|Total Net Yards||304||309|
|Time of Possession||32:22||27:38|
RUSHING—Tennessee, Johnson 36-134, White 1-1, Young 2-(minus 2). Seattle, Forsett 10-74, J.Jones 14-61, Hasselbeck 2-5.
PASSING—Tennessee, Young 17-28-1-171. Seattle, Hasselbeck 15-30-1-175, S.Wallace 1-1-0-17.
RECEIVING—Tennessee, Washington 6-83, Gage 4-38, Johnson 3-20, Scaife 2-14, Britt 1-14, Hall 1-2. Seattle, Branch 4-77, Houshmandzadeh 3-66, Carlson 2-14, Forsett 2-14, Griffith 2-9, Obomanu 1-7, J.Jones 1-3, Rankin 1-2.
MISSED FIELD GOALS—Tennessee, Bironas 47 (WL).
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