Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Stopping Johnson Key to Victory; Chiefs' Running Attack Never Got off the Ground against Jaguars' Defense

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Stopping Johnson Key to Victory; Chiefs' Running Attack Never Got off the Ground against Jaguars' Defense

Article excerpt

Byline: VITO STELLINO

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Jaguars have fixed their run defense.

After giving up 282 yards on the ground to the Titans in the opener, the defense yielded only 10 net rushing yards to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

Larry Johnson, who ran for nearly 1,800 yards last season, managed only 12 yards in nine carries, one of his worst days as a pro.

Stopping Johnson was a big factor in the Jaguars' 17-7 victory.

"We knew No. 27 was going to be the main guy,'' cornerback Rashean Mathis said. "We knew if we stopped him, they'd have a long day. That's what makes them tick. If he gets going, it can be a long day for us. They couldn't beat us throwing the ball.''

Johnson ran for 138 yards and three touchdowns in the Chiefs' season-ending victory against the Jaguars last year.

And the Jags' run defense was embarrassed in the season opener against Tennessee, when Chris Brown ran for 175 yards.

But the run defense has improved significantly since then, yielding 82 yards to the Falcons and 47 yards to the Broncos. And on Sunday, the Jaguars forced the Chiefs to virtually abandon the run.

Mathis characterized the effort as "just us playing our style of football. We were reading our keys and being disciplined.''

In addition to stopping the run, the Jaguars put pressure on quarterback Damon Huard, who was forced to dump off passes to tight end Tony Gonzalez, who had eight catches, and Johnson, who had five.

Flashy rookie wide receiver Dwayne Bowe had four catches and veteran Eddie Kennison, who returned to the lineup after being sidelined the past month with an injury, was blanked.

The Jaguars lost the shutout when backup quarterback Brodie Croyle, who came on in the fourth quarter when Huard was knocked out of the game on a hit by Bobby McCray, floated a touchdown pass on the final play of the game to Samie Parker.

The ball went just over the hand of Mathis, who jumped high for it.

"I thought I had the interception,'' Mathis said. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.