Chris Johnson vs. Usain Bolt: Maybe Johnson Could Have Hung in the 40 Yard Dash Four Years Ago, But No Chance He Beats Him Now

Chris Johnson thinks he can rush for 2,500 yards. Oh wait, that was 2010. Chris Johnson still thinks he is the best running back in football. Oh, wait, that was two months ago. Ahh, here it is. Chris Johnson thinks he can beat Usain Bolt in a 40 yard dash.

“I feel like if I would have kept training for track I’d have a chance, but I play football and he runs track, so it’s totally different,” Johnson said, via Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean. “I think I could still probably beat him in the 40. If I actually trained for the distance he trained for, I think I’d have a chance.”

Yes, if Chris Johnson wouldn’t have resorted to this football thing, he would have a chance to beat the fastest man ever. Well, consider that when he was in high school and college, Johnson did run track. He finished 2nd, 0.28 behind Walter Dix in high school in Florida. Dix would go on to train specifically for track, and won Bronze in the 2008 Olympics, with a personal best 9.91 in the Final. That was 0.22 seconds behind Bolt.

Doug Drinen did a breakdown of Usain Bolt vs Chris Johnson four years ago, when Johnson ran a reported 4.24 in the 40 yard dash at the Combine, and Bolt won the 100 meter race at the Olympics in record time at 9.69. Using split times, and trying to estimate various factors like not using a starting block, or starting the timing at the gun versus crossing the line, Drinen estimated Bolt would run about a 4.22 in a 40 yard race.

It might be slightly better than if Bolt hypothetically trained with the purpose of winning a 40 yard race. His split times at the last Olympics were 0.27 better in the 100 meter dash than in the first 100 meters of the 200 meter race that he also won in Olympic record time. Knowing that he was only running a 40 yard race, he would probably improve his reaction time and not be as conservative (and if they didn’t start timing until he started, there is no fear of a false start).

Of course, the other factor is four years of time. Johnson is four years older in football years. Bolt is four years older as well (and about one year younger than Johnson) but has been focused on his craft. He has not been getting hit hundreds of times. Interestingly, Bolt’s early splits were almost identical this time around–the difference was in the final 20 meters, where he was even more impressive in 2012.

Johnson may still be fast, but not as fast as he was at age 23. Bolt would have probably beaten him by 0.05 to 0.1 seconds in a 40 meter race four years ago. It’s probably a larger split today. Johnson, though, has never lacked confidence. Delusional thinking is probably a prerequisite to running full speed into holes that could close instantly with a 300 pound body in the way.

[photo via US Presswire]

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