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Week 1 vs. CHI
Receiving: 4 / 45 / 0 on 10 targets
After being forced out of bounds on an end zone pass mid-way through the first quarter, Calvin Johnson disappeared from the Detroit offense for most of the first half. The Lions did not try to get him the ball on an end-around as they did last season, and the one time he lined up in the backfield, they handed the ball to Jerome Felton. However, when Shaun Hill took over the offense, Johnson was his primary target. Hill's one interception was on his third consecutive throw to Johnson, and was a timing route where Johnson fell down. Megatron was also instrumental in the final drive of the game for the Lions, and was involved in the controversial call that was correctly ruled an incomplete. Despite having both feet down, landing on his body and his left hand all being in bounds, when Johnson's right hand landed with the ball, it squirted out and the referee rules it an incomplete pass. Johnson was targeted two more times by Hill, both falling incomplete and ending the game. While Johnson was not a big fantasy factor in this game, it's clear that if Shaun Hill is going to be the Detroit starter for the next month, Johnson is going to be a big focal point of the passing offense.
Week 2 vs. PHI
Receiving: 4 / 50 / 1 on 11 targets
Despite being targeted 12 times, Calvin Johnson only managed four receptions for 50 yards and a TD. Still a good day, however, especially considering Johnson caught a 14 yard touchdown that was called back due to a penalty. The very next play after the penalty Johnson caught a 19 yard strike for a touchdown that was not called back. Johnson was a primary focus for the Eagles defense for much of the day and with this in mind his stat line seems a bit more impressive. Even when being keyed on by the other team's best defensive players, Megatron is still going to get his --- and that's just the way it goes.
Week 3 vs. MIN
Rushing: 1 / 2 / 0
Receiving: 6 / 56 / 0 on 7 targets
Calvin Johnson disappeared for huge portions of this game. Although he's easily the best pass catcher on the Detroit roster, Shaun Hill just didn't seem to get him the ball. In the second quarter, Hill finally found Megatron on a deep route, throwing the ball high where only Johnson could get it. Johnson went up and came down with a big 21 yard pass reception that was the biggest play of the game to that point. He had only one catch after that --- an 11 yard reception in the third, until the final two drives of the game. On those two drives, Shaun Hill targeted Johnson on three short slant routes where Johnson made the catch for only eight yards each. While Hill looks to Johnson when he is in trouble, Johnson is almost becoming secondary to the short and medium passing game to the RBS and TES. Johnson will still be a big player in the offense each week, but he and many fantasy owners can't wait for Matt Stafford to return.
Week 4 vs. GB
Rushing: 1 / 2 / 0
Receiving: 6 / 86 / 2 on 11 targets
Calvin Johnson was finally able to contribute for the Lions for the entire game. He and Charles Woodson battled it out for most of the game, Calvin winning some such as his second TD reception and losing some like when Woodson intercepted the ball and took it the other way for the game winning TD. For his part, Johnson played a great game. His first TD was a switch route where he and Tony Scheffler crossed paths on the right side of the field. The defense was confused and Johnson broke to the end zone where Hill found him all alone in the middle of the field for their first TD. On the second TD reception, it was just a 'jump ball' in the end zone like we have seen time and again for Megatron, and he simply out jumped Woodson to come down with the TD. Calvin also worked well as a coverage magnet, and the Lions frequently motioned a receiver behind him pre-snap so that when he took off down the field, it created a space for the other receiver to catch the ball and make a play. He also caught several slant and square in passes over the middle to help keep the ball moving and helped create the long, sustained drives that the Lions have been missing all season. Perhaps the biggest disappointment though was that he wasn't able to contribute in the 4th quarter when the Lions needed him the most, and the three passes that were thrown his way were broken up or fell incomplete.
Week 5 vs. STL
Receiving: 4 / 54 / 1 on 9 targets
You could tell that Calvin Johnson was eager to get the ball in his hands on Sunday from the very start of the game, and Hill granted that wish. Johnson caught a nicely lofted fade pass in single coverage for a touchdown early in the game and never looked back. In the two minute drill at the end of the first half, Johnson had an amazing catch along the sidelines. He kept his concentration and had good awareness to tap his feet in bounds. In the fourth quarter, Johnson suffered what looked to be a shoulder injury on a tremendous catch down the right sideline. The Lions did not take the risk of inserting him back into the game with such a lead. Johnson was targeted several times by Hill deep, and if not for a drop he shouldn't have had and a play in the endzone where he barely missed getting his second foot down, Johnson could have scored three times on Sunday.
Week 6 vs. NYG
Receiving: 5 / 146 / 1 on 7 targets
Johnson showed no ill affects of the injury which had people worried he wouldn't play and took some big hits during the game. He came away all right, so with the bye week, he should be ready to go. Johnson had a very solid game, culminating in an 87 yard touchdown where he got behind defenders Antrel Rolle and Terrell Thomas. Thomas stumbled and fell reaching for the ball and Johnson just outraced everyone to the end zone. Johnson did more than just haul in one big touchdown though. He showed crisp route running on several occasions, including on a shallow cross near the end of the second quarter where he caught the ball and had the presence of mind to turn up-field to gain more yards. The Lions appear to be getting Johnson very involved and he is also benefiting from some good play from the rest of the receivers and tight ends. It should only get better when Stafford comes back.
Week 8 vs. WAS
Receiving: 9 / 101 / 3 on 15 targets
Johnson was absolutely dominant through the air in this game and could not be stopped. He showed extreme desire and heart in this game on all areas of his game and gladly went over the middle. He played in the slot and used his body to simply catch the ball despite good coverage. Johnson provided a huge safety valve for Stafford as he picked up numerous first downs over the middle and was not bothered by the threat of big hits on the end of dig and slant patterns. Although he had 3 touchdowns, he very easily could have had two more. A slightly higher thrown pass early in the game could have easily been caught by Johnson, and he was behind everybody on a busted play but Stafford poorly underthrew him. When he caught the ball, he was not to be denied for every last yard and just ran through defenders for his first touchdown on a catch and run effort.
Week 9 vs. NYJ
Receiving: 1 / 13 / 0 on 4 targets
Much was made of Calvin Johnson's size and how it would help him overcome the coverage of Jets CB Darrelle Revis. For virtually all of the day though, Revis locked Johnson down and made him unavailable to Lions QB Matt Stafford. Johnson had two catches, one called back on a bad penalty call and one right after that. On both, Johnson used his body to go up and get the ball, blocking Revis out as he did so. But too often Johnson couldn't get open and on a couple of the few targets he got, Revis was the one who jumped up and made a play. On a day when so much was going right for the Lions, Johnson's inability to get open and Stafford's inability to get him the ball really stood out.
Week 10 vs. BUF
Receiving: 10 / 128 / 1 on 14 targets
Megatron was kept in check for a lot of this game, at least in part because of Shaun Hill's short passing game and the lack of the deep jumpball. Johnson did make great things happen after a few of those short catches, showing exceptional elusiveness and quickness for a receiver his size. He came on in the fourth quarter, especially on the drive he capped with a 20-yard TD in the game's last minute. He did have a few drops on that drive, but Hill smartly kept going back to him, and Johnson delivered. No matter who plays QB for the Lions, Johnson will remain one of the game's elite fantasy receivers.
Week 11 vs. DAL
Receiving: 6 / 46 / 1 on 10 targets
Calvin Johnson had a good game against the Cowboys, repeatedly abusing Michael Jenkins. Fortunately for Jenkins and the Cowboys, Johnson and quarterback Shaun Hill don't quite appear to be on the same page. On two occasions, Johnson had his man beat deep for a long gain only to find the ball thrown to a different shoulder then he was expecting. On the first offensive play of the game, Johnson streaked down the right side of the field only to pull up and watch the ball land 3 yards further downfield. Later in the game, Johnson was open on the right side of the end zone only to look over the wrong shoulder for the Shaun Hill pass. Miscues aside, Johnson still managed to catch a touchdown and help the Lions move the ball. With time to develop some chemistry, Johnson will no doubt reemerge as one of the game's dominant receivers.
Week 12 vs. NE
Rushing: 1 / 15 / 0
Receiving: 4 / 81 / 1 on 7 targets
Calvin Johnson was double-covered for most of Thanksgiving, making things tough for him to have a big day against New England. QB Shaun Hill did find him for a 19-yard touchdown early where Johnson had rare single coverage and beat his defender on an underthrown pass that he came back and pulled down at the goal line. Johnson saw better defensive coverage the rest of the game which limited his performance until late in the contest where he found a void in prevent coverage and picked up a 34-yard catch over the middle, his longest grab of the day.
Week 13 vs. CHI
Receiving: 3 / 66 / 1 on 5 targets
Johnson's unbelievable TD at the end of the first half showed why he is the premier WR talent in the league today. First he shrugged off his primary defender, he caught the slant pass and then he stiff-armed two Bears defenders. Then he turned the corner and outran the final defender. Speed, size and strength in one package. Unfortunately for the Lions, that was the only real impact play of the day for Calvin. Drew Stanton didn't have a lot of time, but it is still mystifying why Calvin doesn't get the ball more. The Lions have to do a better job of creating ways to get him open, even if it involves getting him the ball a few times in the running game. Such an explosive, rare talent needs to be used more.
Week 14 vs. GB
Rushing: 1 / 13 / 0
Receiving: 1 / 44 / 0 on 8 targets
Johnson's numbers suffered mainly due to the poor play of quarterback Drew Stanton. Stanton did seem to be getting the hang of things later in the game, at least with respect to getting Johnson the ball, but simply didn't show enough consistency to warrant faith in (and perhaps pinning your playoff fantasy hopes on) any Detroit receiver. Johnson's single catch was for 44 yards, and he had a few similar opportunities, but in each case he didn't have much of a chance to get the ball. The only real reason for hope is that he's not likely to lose any targets. The Lions also got him involved with a reverse in the first half, which he ran well and took for a first down.
Week 15 vs. TB
Receiving: 10 / 152 / 0 on 12 targets
Calvin Johnson had his way with the Tampa Bay secondary. He finished with a monster game of 10 receptions for 152 yards on 12 targets, and his full array of skills was on display. Johnson showed his leaping ability, hands and agility on a number of receptions, and attacked the ball in the air. No matter what coverage Tampa Bay rolled in Johnson's direction, he still found a way to come down with the ball.
Week 16 vs. MIA
Receiving: 4 / 52 / 0 on 7 targets
Johnson was injured early in the 4th quarter. Hill threw a awkward pass to him down the left side of the field and it was almost picked off. However, when the defender tried to intercept it, he landed and rolled, hitting Calvin from behind. He fell awkwardly and limped off the field. Calvin took a series off and tried to come back but eventually left the game with an ankle injury and did not return.