Needing a touchdown of at least 40 yards on Thursday night, it looked like we had won our bet on two different occasions.
Touted return man Golden Tate brought back a punt 54 yards for a score – only to see it nullified by a penalty for an illegal block.
Then Brandon Browner picked off a Carson Palmer pass at midfield and had an escort to the end zone, but he somehow fell down on his own at the 1-yard line.
Those unfortunate circumstances left our record at 16-9, and we hope for better luck with today’s two plays:
Over 37½ rushing yards for Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III
In his spectacular rookie season, Griffin exceeded this total more often than not, including delivering a 138-yard performance against the Vikings. Of course, he eventually suffered a serious knee injury in the playoffs, and caution was understandably exercised at the start of this season. The approach seemed to change last week, however.
Against the Cowboys on Sunday night, Griffin ran for 77 yards on nine carries. He looked a lot like his former self, and the fully healthy Griffin said this week that he needs to run more. Coach Mike Shanahan has given his approval to that notion, so RG3 should be using his legs a fair amount versus the Bears today.
Over 2 receptions for Titans running back Chris Johnson
We took this bet two weeks ago when the total was 1½, and Johnson came through with four catches. It still has considerable appeal, especially since the man called “CJ2K” is providing so little yardage on the ground. The Titans need to get him the ball in space, and that is best accomplished with short passes out of the backfield.
As noted previously, Johnson averaged more than two receptions per game in each of his first five seasons, and he posted a career-high 3.6 in 2011. Over the last three contests, he has managed a woeful 71 rushing yards, but he has nine catches in that span. Titans offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains is making an effort to get Johnson more involved in the passing game, and that should again be the case against the tough 49ers defense.