Johnson Continues Record Breaking Pace

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee Titans aren't about to feel guilty for routing the St. Louis Rams, not when they remember only too well just how it feels.

"We'll take it," linebacker Keith Bulluck said of the Titans' 47-7 win Sunday. "We've been on the receiving end of a tail-kicking before, so it's about time we get this one out this year."

The Titans lost 59-0 at New England on Oct. 18, their sixth straight loss to open the season.

Now they are 6-7 and scrambling to keep their faint playoff hopes alive. They did just that for another week by overcoming Vince Young's strained right hamstring that knocked him out midway through the second quarter.

Chris Johnson ran for 117 yards and two touchdowns, and caught a short pass he took 66 yards for another TD. Rob Bironas kicked four field goals, including a long of 50 yards, and the defense held Steven Jackson to a season-low 47 yards and came up with five interceptions the Titans turned into 20 points, ruining the NFL debut of Rams rookie quarterback Keith Null.

Even Kerry Collins, the quarterback benched after that winless start, threw a touchdown pass and had 154 yards passing in replacing Young.

Not that any of the Titans are thinking playoffs, not yet.

"We are just going to take one game at a time and worry about our next opponent," Johnson said.

Coach Jeff Fisher was happy to see his Titans bounce back from a loss at Indianapolis that snapped their five-game winning streak.

"It was good to get back on track with the win," Fisher said.

A difficult season for first-year Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo only got worse with a fifth straight loss. His starting quarterback already was out in Marc Bulger, and Kyle Boller couldn't push off his sore thigh during pregame warmups. That force Spagnuolo to start Null, a sixth-round draft pick out of West Texas A&M the coach had hoped to keep off the field.

With Tennessee focused on stopping Jackson, Null couldn't get the Rams (1-12) into the end zone until they trailed 33-0 in the fourth quarter, and they needed a 51-yard gain off a fake punt to set up the rookie's 11-yard TD pass to Randy McMichael.

The Titans outgained St. Louis 446-240 on offense, and Spagnuolo isn't sure who will start next.

"I think he had some flashes there, he threw the ball pretty good," Spagnuolo said of Null.

Spagnuolo's bigger problem may be with Jackson. The NFC's leading rusher was visibly upset after the game, spoke briefly and then walked away from his locker.

"Instead of standing here embarrassing myself, and my family, I'm just going to say I'm tired. I'm just tired. I'm tired. You fill in the blanks. However you want to write the article, however you want to say it, I'm just tired," Jackson said.

The Rams concentrated on stopping Johnson, and the NFL's leading rusher still turned in his franchise-record eighth straight game with at least 100 yards rushing. Johnson scored the game's first TD on a 39-yard run, and his TD catch-and-run came on a mistake where he was supposed to stay in and protect Young.

"Gaining 2,000 yards and breaking the record, it is not going to be easy," Johnson said. "It's a tough job, so I don't expect to go out there and it be easy for me."

Johnson now has 1,626 yards rushing and remains on pace to become the sixth back in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards. He trails Eric Dickerson's NFL single-season mark by 479 yards, but now holds the franchise record for most yards from scrimmage in a season with 2,017.

That made Johnson just the fifth player in NFL history to reach 2,000 yards from scrimmage in his team's first 13 games, joining Jim Brown, Walter Payton, O.J. Simpson and Priest Holmes.

"He is very skilled and put the combination of a good offensive line together, smart physical and a talented back, it's tough to defend," Spagnuolo said.

The Titans must see how Young recovers. He had been questionable with an achy right knee and thinks working to heal that up helped lead to hurting his hamstring. But Young said he pulled up quickly enough that he avoided a worse injury. He had played well and was 6 of 8 for 132 yards with a career-long 44-yard run that led to the painful hamstring.

NOTES: Spagnuolo said linebacker Paris Lenon had a hip pointer and linebacker Dave Vobora hyperextended a knee. Left guard Jacob Bell hurt a hamstring late. ... The Titans now have won eight straight against the NFC and are 13-2 against the NFC since the start of the 2006 season. ... Johnson now holds the franchise records for most consecutive 100-yard rushing games and most yards from scrimmage in a season. He had been tied with Hall of Famer Earl Campbell with seven straight 100-yard games and topped Campbell's previous mark of 1,981 in 1980. ... This is the seventh time this season St. Louis has been held to 10 or fewer points.

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