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Week 2 vs. GB
Receiving: 3 / 31 / 0 on 6 targets
Johnson had a prolific receiving day - well, by Bills standards - but he also had a couple of drops, one of which resulted in an interception. The WR2 spot is still a sore one for Buffalo with Johnson in there, look for rookie David Nelson to get a shot soon if he can stay on track.
Week 3 vs. NE
Receiving: 3 / 66 / 1 on 4 targets
The first significant pass play of this game was a 15 yarder to Johnson which led to a nice long Buffalo drive that ended with a FG, giving the offense some much needed momentum and the lead to start the game. Johnson corkscrewed his way into the endzone on a 37 yard TD pass late in the 4th quarter to keep the game respectable.
Week 4 vs. NYJ
Receiving: 3 / 31 / 1 on 7 targets
Johnson has been pretty consistent of late and produced in little ways each game. With the overall ineffectiveness of the offense, he wasn't able to put together a huge game and he did most of his damage when things were pretty much out of control. Johnson scored his touchdown on rookie corner Kyle Wilson. Wilson was all alone on Johnson, who froze him with a little stutter step and then blew past him, making a nice catch in the end zone.
Week 5 vs. JAX
Receiving: 5 / 46 / 2 on 9 targets
Johnson scored his third and fourth touchdowns of the season, but only one came when the game was in question. His size and strength allow him to outmuscle defensive backs for position in the red zone, but he is not a mainstay in this offense despite his scoring frequency since Ryan Fitzpatrick took over.
Week 7 vs. BAL
Receiving: 8 / 158 / 1 on 10 targets
Stevie Johnson, as he prefers to be called, is proving to be a legitimate weapon in this Buffalo offense that teams will have to start taking into account when game planning.
He has a very wide catch radius, either going low or showing his jump ball ability to snag the ball in any situation. He did not have a single drop in this game, and only double caught one pass. Johnson reads defenses well and knows whether to break off the route and run back to the Quarterback or turn routes upfield. He has the quickness to run short routes and deceptive deep speed on the outside. Johnson looked very confident in this game catching the football very comfortably, and making tough catches look routine. He has an uncanny ability to reroute defenders who try to cover him, and then proceed to be able to run away from them and pick up a big gain after the catch. Johnson always seemed to have a yard or two of separation at least from his defender and gave Fitzpatrick big windows to throw into at times, including a deep fade route along the sideline for his touchdown.
Week 8 vs. KC
Receiving: 5 / 37 / 1 on 10 targets
Another TD for Johnson, who has become the receiver of choice in the red zone for Fitzpatrick. Johnson displays a knack for fighting off defenders, establishing position, and he has great hands. On his TD, he did a great job of catching the ball low, and keeping his knees off the ground as he dove for the sole TD of the day for the Bills.
Week 9 vs. CHI
Receiving: 11 / 145 / 0 on 14 targets
Just like his quarterback, Johnson continued his improbable, newfound success against the Bears on Sunday. Matched up most of the day against Bears' veteran cornerback Charles Tillman, Johnson put on an absolute CLINIC throughout the day, pulling in a ridiculous 11 receptions on 14 total targets and gaining multiple chunks of yardage after the catch. Despite not finding the end zone on the day, Johnson still managed to put up respectable point totals in PPR leagues thanks to his 11 receptions and 100+ yardage day. Johnson has long been an every week starter and with the Bills continued confidence in their passing game, it's likely safe to assume he'll continue this run of success for the rest of the year.
Week 10 vs. DET
Receiving: 3 / 37 / 0 on 8 targets
Johnson had his worst fantasy day since week 2, in part due to the Bills balanced game plan, and in part due to a drop on a potential big play and an underthrown deep ball from Fitzpatrick. Don't abandon the surprise breakout star just yet.
Week 11 vs. CIN
Receiving: 8 / 137 / 3 on 11 targets
Johnson is so silky smooth in his route-running, has excellent speed and never seems to drop a pass. On one of his three TD's he just made an almost imperceptible fake back to the outside, froze the defender then kept going upfield for a very easy TD. The chemistry between Johnson and Fitzpatrick is excellent, as the two have had a lot of practice time together as backups. Now on the big stage, Johnson is making his presence felt every week. Fitzpatrick and Steve Johnson worked the backup safeties over in the 2nd half with big play after big play, and at this point, Steve Johnson is a front-runner for the pro bowl, which is just amazing.
Week 12 vs. PIT
Receiving: 7 / 68 / 0 on 15 targets
"Stevie Styles" showed everyone the vast spectrum of things that a young, up-and-comer can show over the course of a whole season in this game. The good: he was targeted a ridiculous 15 times, with the next highest on the team being 8; he caught a team-high 7 passes. The bad: he dropped 5 passes officially, though one looked more like a pass break-up. The ugly: he dropped a sure-fire TD in overtime that (obviously) would have won the game for his team. The Bills have confidence enough in Johnson to line him up all over the field and to have him run the entire array of routes. He caught balls short and intermediate in this game and was targeted on a deep pass (the game-winner-that-wasn't was from 40 yards out). There's a long, prosperous career ahead for Johnson if he doesn't let this drop ruin him. It was the kind, however, that could haunt a player. Steelers fans most likely immediately had visions of Limas Sweed dropping TDs in the AFC Title game vs. Baltimore or in a regular season game vs. Cincinnati last year, but Johnson has already flashed enough brilliance to make those comparisons ridiculous. He'll have many more games closer his breakout performance last week vs. the Bengals than like this one vs. the Steelers.
Week 13 vs. MIN
Receiving: 2 / 36 / 0 on 4 targets
Steve Johnson started off the wrong way in this game as he was targeted on a post route down the seam but ended up dropping a very catchable pass from Fitzpatrick. He hauled in a pass with a couple of minutes left in the fourth quarter which he took for a decent gain against a very passive zone defense from the Vikings. Johnson's lack of productivity was a result of the Bills offense being unable to get going more than anything.
Week 14 vs. CLE
Receiving: 5 / 42 / 0 on 8 targets
Johnson continued his solid play, picking up a number of big
first downs and extending drives. He didn't make his way into the endzone, but
the Bills were content to play ball-control and keep the ball out of the air.
When the time came for big plays, Fitzpatrick still looks to Johnson, and
Johnson continues to come up big. He had a huge catch on the sideline where he
somehow kept both feet in for a first down. Then later in the game, Fitzpatrick
looked his way on 4th and 1 for a short gain. These two have great chemistry
and you should expect Johnson to continue to be solid the rest of the year.
Week 15 vs. MIA
Receiving: 6 / 69 / 1 on 9 targets
He has great energy and is developing into a real threat in the NFL for years to come. Many think 2010 will be a fluke but this writer has been impressed all season. He doesn't run the crispest of routes but he gets separation and finds openings in the defense. The fear is against tough secondary's he won't find the soft spots or areas and with lack of discipline running routes it leaves him as an afterthought in the passing game. Fitz definitely looks for him and Lee Evans is on IR for the rest of the season. Clearly he is going to be the focal point of a lot of targets and has a chance to really expand on some eye popping stats the next couple weeks and wasn't even drafted in most leagues. He did an admirable job although he was flagged for a PI call in the end zone. He still came back later and caught another touchdown which stood. Johnson has good instincts and with further development has a chance to be a perennial top20 WR in the NFL for the next many years.
Week 16 vs. NE
Receiving: 5 / 58 / 0 on 10 targets
New England was dialed in and waiting for Buffalo to force the ball to Steve Johnson. And it worked as after a while he finally had his route jumped and then Fitzpatrick didn't look his way again for almost the rest of the game. He had very mediocre numbers for a guy that has had some big games this season and a pretty high ranking WR most weeks in projections. He was covered well and forced Buffalo to look at other receivers to throw to. This offense needs a TE that can make plays and open up the middle of the field for some better looks; too much sideline activity right now.
Week 17 vs. NYJ
Receiving: 5 / 72 / 0 on 12 targets
Johnson has emerged as a huge weapon for the Bills and was once again the top receiver for the team. His biggest play was a negative though, as he fumbled a ball early which really set the tone for a bad day for the Bills. Early in the first, Johnson ran a sharp route and caught the ball in stride as he split the Jets defense. When the jets caught up with him, he tried to do a little too much and he was held up and stripped by rookie safety Emmanuel Cook. Johnson didn't have the ball quite secure enough and the fumble was recovered by the Jets who marched down the field and scored three points. Johnson was also the target on several of the interceptions thrown by the Bills quarterbacks.
On the good side, Johnson ran a nice route and made a good catch late in the fourth. Johnson recognized that he had a huge cushion as he came off the line and ran right for the first down marker, cutting towards the sideline as the ball arrived, getting both feet in and securing the ball before he stepped out and stopped the clock.
Johnson has shown some talent as well as some football smarts this season but needs to work on being a bit more consistent - and mature - over the course of a game.