[Topeka Capital-Journal] Seventy-eight feet is not much.
It is less than the distance from home plate to first base (90 feet). The average person will cover 78 feet in about 30 steps. It’s the length of a tennis court. A few times a year, somebody somewhere makes a shot of around that distance in a basketball game.
Sunday, Larry Johnson covered 78 feet on the ground in a 15-carry, 26-yard day during which his longest carry went for 8 yards.
It was his worst day as a starter.
In consecutive weeks, Johnson has failed to break 40 yards against defenses mainly designed to stop him.
“I’m not frustrated at all,” he said. “They’re just putting eight in the box. That’s what happens when you’re good. Everywhere across the league, LaDanian (Tomlinson, of the Chargers) is going through it. Shaun (Alexander, of the Seahawks) is going through it. All the good players are going through it.”
Johnson, who entered the game averaging 3.7 yards per carry, got 1.8 Sunday against a Steelers defense that was ninth in the NFL, allowing 3.4 yards per carry.
It was another in a series of games in which Johnson was the opponent’s primary worry and another in which the opponent demonstrated little respect for the Chiefs’ passing game, a strategy which proved appropriate when Damon Huard threw for 162 yards and completed 50 percent of his throws.
Nothing takes a running back out of a game like a multiple-score deficit, which Johnson’s day reflected. LJ had just six carries in the second half.
“When you get down, you just can’t run the ball,” Johnson said. “When you’re down 21 points and you’re trying to get some points on the board.”