TAMPA, Fla. -- Chris Johnson rushed for a pair of 14-yard touchdowns and 46 of the Titans' 216 rushing yards in their second preseason game Friday at Tampa Bay.
Second-year pro Jake Locker made his first start at quarterback with the Titans, but Tennessee did most of its damage on the ground. Tennessee averaged 5.8 yards per carry on 37 rush attempts that included three kneel downs by QB Nick Stephens for minus-6 yards to run out the clock.
Johnson had just five carries in the Titans' first preseason game and enjoyed the additional opportunities Friday.
"It feels good," Johnson said. "Any time you go out there and they keep handing you the ball and you get in your groove, it makes it harder for the defense to stop you, it makes it easier for you to read the holes and make people miss and break tackles. The more you touch the ball the more in the groove you get."
The Titans began their first possession with three straight runs for Johnson for gains of 7, 2, and 0 yards, which forced a quick punt. Tennessee's second possession ended with an interception of Locker on third-and-9 from the Tennessee 10-yard-line.
Tampa Bay safety Ahmad Black returned the interception to the two-yard-line to set up a TD pass from Josh Freeman to Mike Williams, for the early lead and Bucs' only score.
The Titans went three-and-out on their third possession, but mounted a scoring drive on their fourth possession that started with an 11-yard pass from Locker to Craig Stevens, benefitted from a personal foul penalty against the Bucs, and featured a 10-yard run by Johnson, a 21-yard scramble by Locker and Johnson's first touchdown run on consecutive plays.
Johnson spurted to the outside and picked up a downfield block by Nate Washington, then shed a tackle attempt by Bucs' 2012 first-round draft pick Mark Barron and stayed in bounds on his last couple of steps. Johnson started up the middle, then zoomed to the outside and got a block from rookie Kendall Wright on his second TD.
Titans coach Mike Munchak said it was encouraging to Johnson perform well when given additional opportunities to carry the football.
"If we're going make the playoffs, we need CJ to have a great year," Munchak said. "We know that, and he knows that. And I think we saw flashes tonight of where he can make the big plays. (He) scored two touchdowns, ran the ball pretty well tonight, enjoyed himself, and that's what you want. I think the other backs came in and kind of picked up where he left off, so, in that regard, it's a really good night for the offense in that way, and obviously the defense played really well."
Darius Reynaud led the Titans with 75 yards on 10 carries, and Jamie Harper added 41 yards on nine carries.