Despite a fairly miserable start to the 2009 season, Kansas City Chiefs running back Larry Johnson is still on pace to break the franchise rushing record previously held by Priest Holmes. Entering the season, LJ was 432 yards away.
At his current pace, LJ will break the record in week 11 against the Pittsburgh Steelers (game is in Kansas City). He's averaging about 45 yards per game, which over the course of an entire season, comes out to about 730 yards.
At only 2.4 yards per carry, I think this question has to be asked: Will LJ actually make it through the season to break the record?
At some point, I think Chiefs head coach Todd Haley has to recognize when something isn't working. He's tried his darndest to create an identity for this team but it's becoming clear that running LJ 20+ times a game is not that identity. I understand Haley's thinking, that running the ball is a necessity, especially with this offense, but it's starting to turn into fitting square pegs into round holes.
LJ's yards per carry this season: 1.8, 3.3, 2.0, 2.9 and 1.8. Isn't that a pretty solid trend that either he's not getting it done or the offensive line's not getting it done? I'm not trying to place blame on anyone here because I think there's plenty of blame to go around but it's clear as day, through five games this year, and 12 games last year, that the running game with LJ in there simply does not work.
In 12 games last season, LJ average over four yards per carry on four occasions. That means, in his last 17 games, LJ has a four yards per carry in four total games.
When asked during training camp, LJ acknowledged that the record is a goal of his, but ultimately he was focused on the team goals.
"This year I'm coming up on that mark to possibly break the all time Chiefs rushing record," he said back in early August. "It's a lot of things as far as getting back to the playoffs, a Super Bowl. There's a lot of things on my plate that I'm trying to achieve, not only for myself, but most importantly for the team."
With that said, I think it's a fair question whether LJ will get those final 206 yards to break the franchise rushing mark. And whether that record will become a factor in Haley's decision.