WR Calvin Johnson - Free Agent
|6-5, 235||Born: 9-25-1985||College: Georgia Tech||Drafted: Round 1, pick 2 (2007)|
2015 Week 1 vs SD (4 / 2 / 39 / 0 rec)
With Stafford pressured and the San Diego secondary performing well, Calvin Johnson struggled to find room to work. Pulling in two receptions on four targets, Johnson did all he could to help Detroit. Taking a big hit over the middle running a dig route, Johnson moved the chains and was uninjured.
2015 Week 2 vs MIN (17 / 10 / 83 / 1 rec)
Calvin Johnson returned to a prominent role in the Detroit offense this week. Targeted 15 times, Johnson was the most active offense weapon for Detroit. Due to the success of the Minnesota coverage and pressure, Johnson's stat line wasn't gaudy, but he found ways to produce. Johnson worked all areas of the field, finding success across the middle, on the outside, and down the field. His touchdown in the end zone was a veteran catch with a toe plant and drag while falling out of bounds. If Stafford would have had better protection and accuracy, Johnson would likely have surpassed the century mark as he regularly positioned himself for successful completions.
2015 Week 3 vs DEN (13 / 8 / 77 / 0 rec)
In week three, Stafford continued to target Calvin Johnson frequently. The change in this performance was that the passes were placed better for Johnson than in previous weeks, as Stafford displayed better overall accuracy. While the majority of the passes Johnson caught were short routes, Stafford did connect with him on a 21 yard gain where he shifted at the last minute to keep an off-target ball away from the defender. Johnson did miss a touchdown in the first half, as he was covered well by Aqib Talib and had the ball knocked down.
2015 Week 4 vs SEA (11 / 7 / 56 / 0 rec)
Stafford got back to his roots and found Calvin Johnson throughout this game. While Johnson did find some success, the defense limited his yards after the catch with great coverage. Johnson was visibly frustrated early in the game as he and the offense struggle to find much to get excited about. He also had two catches negated by penalty. His largest gain on the day was in the first quarter when he executed a precise curl route for a 15 yard gain. Johnson's frustration likely peaked in the closing minutes of the game when he fumbled the ball on the one yard line after a nice catch and run for 10 yards. Overall, Johnson looked good, but wasn't heavily targeted until the fourth quarter of the game.
2015 Week 5 vs ARI (7 / 5 / 67 / 0 rec)
The Arizona defense's pressure on Stafford clearly inhibited Calvin Johnson on Sunday. With Stafford, he saw plenty of looks but the ball placement and excellent coverage minimized his stat line. Last week, Johnson found success running curl and crossing routes, and once again found similar success against Arizona. The Detroit quarterbacks certainly threw plenty of passes in this game, but the defense wasn't allowing enough room or time for him to make a big play.
2015 Week 6 vs CHI (9 / 6 / 166 / 1 rec)
The Detroit offense got back on track against Chicago, and it was largely due to the involvement of Calvin Johnson. For the first time this season, Detroit fans saw the Stafford-to-Johnson chemistry that has been so effective in the past. Stafford took several shots downfield to Johnson throughout this game and the placement seemed to be on for every one of them. Used in the intermediate passing routes as well, Johnson helped keep the offense moving when called upon. Johnson was able to cap off a very productive day with some stunning work at the end of overtime as well. With 3:30 left, Stafford hit Johnson on a fade route for 57 yards. Detroit continued to inch closer to the end zone and called it a game after Stafford found Johnson on a short slant for the game winning touchdown.
2015 Week 7 vs MIN (7 / 5 / 86 / 1 rec)
It was a tough day for Calvin Johnson, or at least got that way after the second quarter. Johnson had a very successful first half with several big catches, including a 1-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter. On that play, Johnson did a great job of using his body to block out the defender, then reaching up and snatching the ball from the air for the score. The Vikings adjusted to that early scoring drive though and managed to send so much pressure at quarterback Matt Stafford that he was unable to give Johnson the time to get open. Johnson went the entirety of the third quarter without a target and then from the 12:52 mark to the 2:58 mark without one in the fourth as well. The problem was the Lions allowing too many sacks and too much pressure on Stafford. Johnson himself was fine, but that didn't do the team as much good as it could have because of the play of the offensive line.
2015 Week 8 vs KC (10 / 5 / 85 / 0 rec)
While the pass attack struggled with the pressure the Chiefs were bringing, Calvin Johnson continued to be a model of efficiency by making the most of targets in his directions. Used heavily along the sidelines, Calvin found success on comebacks, outs, and fade routes throughout the day. He also worked the middle of the field occasionally, and had his one and only mishap on the day when he dropped a well place ball on a crossing route. The drop occurred on 3rd and 14 and Johnson was well short of the first down and had a defender coming in hot, so the drop did little to affect the game or his stat line. Later, Stafford missed Johnson on a 25 yard route where he was open on the sideline and would have likely been able to use his physicality to gain a decent amount of yards after the catch, but the two connected shortly thereafter on a 30 yard high-point grab by Johnson.
2015 Week 10 vs GB (9 / 6 / 81 / 0 rec)
Calvin Johnson saw his first action in the second quarter on a play action pass for a gain of 13. Shortly after that Stafford found him on a 19 yard out route. Stafford attempted to connect with Johnson for a touchdown in the final seconds of the second quarter, but overthrew him in the end zone - a catch that Johnson likely could have outjumped the defender for if it had been on point. In the third quarter Johnson again found success with another out route for a 16 yard gain on a well-executed play on 3rd and 5. He didn't see the ball again until the fourth quarter when Stafford looked his way often. Johnson caught a tip-toe catch on the sideline for 15 yards, and then followed it up with a 6 yard crosser. Later in the fourth, with the pocket imploding, Stafford worked outside and hooked up with Johnson for a 14 yard gain.
2015 Week 11 vs OAK (9 / 5 / 88 / 0 rec)
Targeted throughout the game, Calvin Johnson had a productive one. At the end of the first quarter, a stalled drive in the Oakland red zone could have possibly had a different result had Stafford looked in the direction of his Pro Bowl receiver who was in single coverage. Later in the second quarter, a deep 50 yard pass from Stafford was too far in front of Johnson, but the two connected late in the second quarter for 21 and 36 yard receptions in the hurry-up offense. The second half was a quiet one for Johnson, as he was targeted three times but only came down with one of the passes on a 7 yard slant. Of the two missed targets, one was thrown into good coverage and broken up by the defender while the second pass was off-target and uncatchable.
2015 Week 12 vs PHI (14 / 8 / 93 / 3 rec)
This was the game that Stafford and receiver Calvin Johnson have needed all season. While cool in the first quarter, the two warmed to boiling in the second. Johnson was used on intermediate crossing, curl, and out routes through the second quarter. After a well defended pass was broken up in the end zone and Stafford was sacked on the next play, the quarterback again looked to Johnson in the end zone on a corner route for a touchdown. The momentum carried over into the third quarter with Johnson finding the end zone two more times. On the first catch, the quarterback threw another perfectly placed ball as Johnson ran a corner route from the 4 yard line. With a defender inside, Stafford placed the ball high to Johnson's outside should, letting the receiver use his size and hands to make the play. On their next touchdown connection, Stafford threw a high ball over the top of the defender as Johnson ran a corner route to the right. By the time the defender saw the ball coming he was out of position and again Johnson used his size and hands to catch the ball on the side of the end zone over the defender's grasp. As mentioned earlier, this game was sorely needed by Johnson and the offense. It was the first game where Johnson has been able to excel and deliver numbers fitting his skill.
2015 Week 13 vs GB (8 / 3 / 44 / 1 rec)
Only able to score once, Calvin Johnson was heavily targeted deep and, in theory, could have finished the day with three touchdowns. On Detroit's first drive, after pulling in a short catch on a crossing route for 20 yard, Johnson was targeted on a risky throw between two defenders that Johnson got a hand on, but the pass was well defended. After the Green Bay turnover, Stafford didn't waste time when he found Johnson in the end zone on a methodical 17 yard corner route. Great toss, better catch. After a quiet 2nd quarter, Stafford again targeted Johnson twice in the third on passes of 37 and 25 yards. Both passes were unfortunately off-target and incomplete. Finally, in the last quarter of the game, Stafford sent a 33 yard package in the star receiver's direction that was unfortunately a yard ahead of him and uncatchable.
2015 Week 14 vs LA (5 / 1 / 16 / 0 rec)
Calvin Johnson was blanketed and covered very well for the majority of this game. He saw only 5 balls thrown his direction -one of which ended in a pick-six and two others were poor decisions by Stafford. His first target of the game was midway through the second quarter when Stafford overthrew him by three yards on a wide open play. In the fourth quarter, Johnson and his quarterback did finally connect on a 16 yard post route where the receiver was unfortunately stopped on the 2 yard line, just short of a score.
2015 Week 15 vs NO (1 / 1 / 19 / 0 rec)
Calvin Johnson was only targeted once during this game, and made the most of it. Running a deep crosser, Johnson reeled in the ball for a 19 yard gain. A hit to his helmet added a 5 yards to the play. He did seem to be mildly bothered by the hit, and later tweaked his ankle, which could explain his reduced usage.
2015 Week 16 vs SF (10 / 6 / 77 / 1 rec)
After a quiet first half in which he saw a 35 yard pass go through his hands, Calvin Johnson saw an increase in targets in the second, and was a major component in the Detroit offense. In the fourth quarter, Johnson grabbed a 15 yard pass on a comeback route and promptly turned it up field for another 14 yards after the catch. Later, on the 1 yard line, a quick double move gave Johnson several steps on his defender and he was able to catch a short touchdown pass on the route. A 22 yard pass later in the fourth found Johnson down at the 1 yard line. Unfortunately after review it was questionably overturned and ruled an incomplete pass.
2015 Week 17 vs CHI (15 / 10 / 137 / 1 rec)
Seeing a heavy dose of single coverage, Stafford looked in Calvin Johnson's direction much against the Bears. The connection started strong with the second pass of the game going to Johnson 25 yards down field. A perfectly thrown back shoulder pass to Johnson added another 20 yards early in the second, and the two continued their success throughout the quarter. In the second half, Johnson caught a 36 yard touchdown between two defenders to get things rolling, and continued to reel in short and intermediate passes to move the chains through the fourth quarter. Since the change in coaching, Stafford and Johnson have had a resurgence in their efficacy.
2014 Week 1 vs NYG (11 / 7 / 164 / 2 rec)
Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson got off to a hot start against the Giants with well-over 100 yards and two touchdowns in the first quarter. Johnson made the tough catches look easy and the Giants secondary lost track of the 6'5" receiver on a broken play, resulting in an easy touchdown. Johnson was slow to get up following a contested target against double coverage in the second quarter, but did not end up missing time. Two end zone targets in the second half nearly resulted in a third touchdown, one tipped away by tight coverage and another where Johnson lost the ball as he hit the ground on the sideline. Despite his impressive stat line this week, there were opportunities to approach 200 yards with at least a third touchdown. Late in the game, Stafford stared down Johnson on two third downs and the pair converted, milking the clock and ultimately icing the victory.
2014 Week 2 vs CAR (13 / 6 / 83 / 0 rec)
After a huge game to open the season in Week 1, Johnson received a majority of the attention from the Carolina secondary. Matthew Stafford made a concerted effort to target Johnson, including four targets (just one reception) on the two-minute drive to close the first half alone. A sliding reception attempt in the end zone could not be completed by Johnson on third down as he hit the ground. In the second half, the passing lanes closed for the Stafford-Johnson connection. When Stafford forced a deep post target to a well-covered Johnson, the ball was tipped away and intercepted.
2014 Week 3 vs GB (10 / 6 / 82 / 0 rec)
The Packers contained Johnson this week, especially early in the game. Johnson's first target did not come until the second quarter as he came down with a jump ball from Matthew Stafford. Targets later in the first half were primarily forced by Stafford in Johnson's direction as a long pass into double coverage was intercepted and a crossing route throw was hurried and off the mark. Johnson found room for slant and out routes in the second half. Outside of an out-of-reach end zone target, Johnson had no touchdown opportunities this week.
2014 Week 4 vs NYJ (2 / 2 / 12 / 0 rec)
Johnson was a game-time decision, but declared active for the game against the Jets. The optimism about Johnson's status quickly dissipated as he was clearly not 100% running routes and his snap count was limited. In fact, Johnson did not see a target through the first 20 minutes of the game. Finally, a nominal quick hitch in the middle of the second quarter got Johnson into the box score. In the second half, Johnson made a highlight catch as Matthew Stafford was pressured into an off-target throw to a sedentary Johnson over the middle. Johnson made the diving play. Outside of that singular play, Johnson was a shadow of himself through his limited snap count and served as a decoy, freeing Golden Tate and Eric Ebron for larger roles.
2014 Week 5 vs BUF (1 / 1 / 7 / 0 rec)
Johnson was active and got the start against Buffalo with the cloud of being a decoy last week through an injured ankle. Johnson was on and off the field in the first half and did not see a target. In addition, he was gingerly moving when run-blocking on the perimeter. Early in the third quarter, Johnson saw his first target on a quick slant route. He was tackled with the defensive back falling on his legs. Johnson immediately grabbed his ankle and was out for the remainder of the game. Golden Tate was the featured pass-catcher throughout this game and with a setback; Johnson's status for Week 6 is a question mark at best.
2014 Week 10 vs MIA (15 / 7 / 113 / 1 rec)
Johnson was back in the lineup and the combination of he and Golden Tate performed well against the stingy Miami secondary. Johnson beat single coverage repeatedly, highlighted by a 50-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter staking Detroit to a 10-0 lead. Johnson got behind Brent Grimes for another potential long touchdown, but an underthrow from Matthew Stafford, combined with a leaping play on the ball from Grimes, ended up as an interception instead. Johnson tipped and hauled in a fourth down target late in the game. Johnson nearly hauled in the game-winning touchdown on Detroit's final drive as he was targeted in the back of the end zone. Johnson had a play on the ball amidst tight coverage, but could not control the pass. The Cardinals and Patriots the next two weeks mark more tough matchups for Calvin Johnson.
2014 Week 11 vs ARI (12 / 5 / 59 / 0 rec)
Johnson had a showdown with Patrick Peterson in Arizona this week with the victory going to Peterson in their one-on-one situations and the Cardinals on the scoreboard. Johnson saw no targets in the first quarter as Stafford clearly looked away from Johnson in his progressions. On a third-and-long in the second quarter, Johnson finally shook free from Peterson on a deep post, but Stafford was late with the pass (and behind Johnson), allowing Peterson to break up the long gain or potential touchdown. Johnson managed a single reception on four targets at the half. Johnson exhibited signs of frustration throughout the game, both with the physical coverage of Arizona and his subpar play. Two second half receptions for Johnson came on third-and-long situations well short of the first down marker. Stafford overthrew Johnson on a deep target in the second half as well as floated an interception into double coverage. Overall, it was a brutal day for Detroit's passing game on the road against a quality opponent.
2014 Week 12 vs NE (10 / 4 / 58 / 0 rec)
Johnson was consistently matchup up against the oversized Brandon Browner in New England. Plus the Patriots stationed a safety over the top of Johnson's side of the field. Rarely, did Johnson shake free outside of a short crossing route. One notable exception was on a goal line back-shoulder target where Darrelle Revis was all over Johnson and forced the incompletion. There were three occasions were Johnson got two hands on the ball to only have it swatted away by a defender or knocked loose by contact. The highlight play for the Lions offense was a deep out connection between Matthew Stafford and Johnson to convert third-and-long. Johnson's sight was blocked by the defensive back, but he made the full-extension catch at the boundary, almost sensing the ball was on its way.
2014 Week 13 vs CHI (16 / 11 / 146 / 2 rec)
After being held in check the past two weeks, this was a return to prominence performance for Johnson against the Bears. Johnson saw a hearty 36% of the team targets and dominated from the start. Johnson made a contested catch between two seam defenders for a long-range touchdown and added a fade route score. At the half, Johnson already had 9-109-2 amidst Matthew Stafford's 275-yard effort. It was a quiet second half for Johnson as Detroit milked a lead. Two noticeable missed opportunities were a dropped third down target for Johnson and a potential back shoulder fade touchdown that was contested in the fourth quarter. With the Buccaneers, Vikings, and Bears coming up, Johnson is primed for a strong finish to the season.
2014 Week 14 vs TB (9 / 8 / 158 / 1 rec)
Johnson did what studs do against porous pass-coverage units, he dominated. Matthew Stafford was at his best on power throws to Johnson over the middle throughout the game. The highlight of the first half came on a perfect fade throw-and-catch at the goal line between Stafford and Johnson. With the game still in doubt at halftime, Johnson opened the third quarter with a 53-yard reception to fuel Detroit pulling away. Both defenders lost track of the ball in the air and Johnson easily hauled it in. By the closing minutes of the third quarter Johnson was up to 130 yards and a score. Stafford targeted Johnson on a goal line slant in the fourth quarter, but the pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage and turned into a Joique Bell receiving score. Johnson has more than 300 receiving yards over the past two games with three touchdowns. With the Vikings and Bears up next, a healthy Calvin Johnson is primed for a strong finish to the season.
2014 Week 15 vs MIN (6 / 4 / 53 / 0 rec)
Xavier Rhodes followed Calvin Johnson around the formation in coverage for the Vikings and held Johnson in check. Rhodes had the size and athleticism to press Johnson at the line of scrimmage and a safety was never far away from the top of Johnson's route tree. When Johnson did shake free, Matthew Stafford made inaccurate throws. Stafford missed Johnson on a deep out route on third down, forcing a fourth straight punt to open the game for Detroit. In the second half, Johnson rebounded with a chunk gain down the seam in addition to fighting through a tackle for a first down on a hot route. The Bears and Packers mark good matchups for Johnson in the final two games of the season.
2014 Week 16 vs CHI (12 / 6 / 103 / 0 rec)
The Lions were pass-heavy in the first half against the Bears and Johnson had a majority of his production in the opening 20 minutes, a 4-61-0 receiving stat line. In addition to chunk gains on slants and post routes, Johnson drew a defensive pass interference penalty for a third down conversion. Johnson added a deep out route featuring a toe-tap at the sideline prior to half time. Despite the strong start, Johnson - and the entire Lions passing game - limped to the finish against Chicago. Johnson had a seam route target sail right through his hands, a missed reception of at least 25 yards. In the third quarter, Johnson limped off the field after his leg was rolled up on as a play finished behind him. He returned to the field, but did not look the same. He converted a third-and-long comeback route late in the game, but also could not haul in a contested red zone target at the goal line. Johnson wanted defensive pass interference on the play, but also did not work his way back to the ball aggressively. Johnson has been hit-or-miss when playing through an injury before, which makes him worth monitoring heading into the Week 17 clash with Green Bay.
2014 Week 17 vs GB (11 / 4 / 39 / 2 rec)
Johnson collected two touchdowns, both of which were Matthew Stafford's best throws of the game, but the Green Bay secondary locked down Johnson throughout the game. Johnson had two targets tipped away by defensive backs and Stafford misfired on a deep target where Johnson got behind a pair of defenders. The Stafford-to-Johnson touchdown in the back corner of the end zone to tie the game in the third quarter was a highlight moment for the up-and-down Detroit offense this week.
2014 Week 18 vs DAL (8 / 5 / 85 / 0 rec)
Dallas slowed down Calvin Johnson in their playoff showdown. Johnson got loose in the Cowboys secondary only once, breaking a tackle following a hitch route reception and streaking down the sideline for 23 yards. Johnson also hauled in one of Matthew Stafford's finest throws of the game - over a defender and in front of another - to convert a third-and-down with a deep out route. Johnson's occupation of additional secondary defenders did pave the way for Golden Tate to exploit single coverage in the middle of the field. On a few occasions a deep drop by Matthew Stafford, looking for a long strike to Johnson, was thwarted by strong coverage on Calvin Johnson's side of the field.
2013 Week 1 vs MIN (9 / 4 / 37 / 0 rec)
After being held out of the preseason, Johnson looked a tad rusty of the gate against the Vikings. He dropped an easy slant on the first play of the game before getting into the flow of the offense. Two potential touchdowns were missed on the day as Johnson continued the trend from 2012, when he had just five scores on the season. Johnson had a tremendous red zone catch at full-extension, but a review showed that he bobbled the ball against the ground before completing the catch. Later in the game, Johnson made a great catch as he elevated in the back of the end zone, but his second foot came down on the out-of-bounds line. Over the last quarter and a half, Johnson was not a big part of the offense as the run game controlled the clock for the Detroit offense.
2013 Week 2 vs ARI (8 / 6 / 116 / 2 rec)
After a first quarter with no targets, Johnson broke out before the half with two touchdowns. Stafford threaded a pass between two defenders and Johnson was off to the races in the open field, beating the defense the length of the field for the long touchdown. Patrick Peterson, who was matched up against Johnson most of the day, looked surprised that the pass got to Johnson through the traffic and was no match in a race for the end zone. On a well-designed play in the red zone, Johnson ran to the corner of the end zone, gaining separation through the route combination on that side of the field. Johnson had most of his production in that quarter alone as Detroit grabbed an early lead. In the second half, the Lions offense sputtered as did the early-game chemistry between Johnson and Stafford. Johnson totaled just one reception in the final 30 minutes, while he was stuffed on a third-down screen pass to halt a drive in field goal range and dropped a pass on the final drive. While Johnson dominated at times against Arizona, he was largely invisible for three quarters and had the potential for a much bigger game.
2013 Week 3 vs WAS (13 / 7 / 115 / 1 rec)
Johnson was an active target in the passing game with a season-high 13 targets against Washington. Stafford was not shy about throwing into tight coverage. That boldness was rewarded with a long touchdown last week and it was a fixture for the pair this week. Johnson got off to a slow start as DeAngelo Hall bumped him off a slant route, intercepted the pass, and returned it for a touchdown early in the game. At the time Detroit had all the momentum and that was the one play that kept the game close. Johnson got on track with tough catches over the middle in tight coverage. On a red zone drive late in the second quarter, Stafford targeted Johnson three times, all potential touchdowns, to no avail. None were classified as easy pitch-and-catch opportunities, but Detroit had to settle for a field goal. Late in the game, Johnson seals the win with a red zone slant to put the Lions up by ten points with just four minutes to play. There were chances for Johnson to had a few more receptions and another touchdown or two despite the already impressive day.
2013 Week 4 vs CHI (10 / 4 / 44 / 1 rec)
Johnson has historically struggled after the Bears compared to other teams and this week was no exception. This time it was the inaccuracy of Mathew Stafford that led to a handful of missed opportunities. Johnson converted a goal line fade route into a touchdown, but he outright dropped a target in the back of the end zone on another drive and Stafford missed him wide open on a red zone slant. Stafford and Johnson make those two connections a large majority of the time and this week both came up as empty opportunities. Johnson took a big hit on an early slant route, but he did not appear physically compromised as the game progressed. He was integral to a few of Reggie Bush's big gains as a stout blocker down the field.
2013 Week 6 vs CLE (8 / 3 / 25 / 0 rec)
After a surprise missed game last week, Johnson was in the lineup for his matchup with Joe Haden most of the game against Cleveland this week. Johnson played about half of the snaps, but logged eight targets in his situational role. Johnson missed practice this week and the lack of chemistry with Matthew Stafford showed. Johnson dropped two routine passes, including one in the end zone. A locked-in Calvin Johnson makes those plays. Stafford was off-target on two third downs to Johnson. On a fade route in the end zone, Johnson drew a defensive pass interference penalty on Haden, leading to a Detroit touchdown on the drive. The Lions offense found its groove in the second half, but it was an underwhelming game for Johnson where he only converted non-essential targets for short gains this week.
2013 Week 7 vs CIN (15 / 9 / 155 / 2 rec)
Johnson appeared back to full strength against Cincinnati. He was heavily-targeted regardless of the attention from the secondary. Johnson had a huge game, but there were numerous opportunities for big plays that were inaccurate throws from Mathew Stafford or broken up by defensive backs. Johnson had a deep target down the sidelines, a one-handed catch, ruled a reception on the field, but reversed upon review. A big hit dislodged a potential touchdown on a target over the middle at the goal line later in the game. After some missed chances early in the game, Johnson and Stafford were on their game when it mattered most. The pair connected for a back-shoulder goal line fade to close the gap in the third quarter. Finally, Johnson caught a deep hail mary-type play from midfield for a game-tying touchdown. Stafford circled the pocket, and then uncorked a pass for Johnson amidst triple coverage in the end zone. Johnson high-pointed the pass, using his entire 6'5" frame for the much-needed touchdown. This was the type of game that Johnson is capable of any given week as one of the elite receivers in the NFL.
2013 Week 8 vs DAL (16 / 14 / 329 / 1 rec)
It was a record-setting day for Johnson as he caught all but two of his targets for well over 300 receiving yards. One of his two targets that did not result in a catch was an errant pass from Stafford deep down the sidelines. In the first half alone, Johnson amassed 156 yards and a touchdown, but the second half was when he made his biggest impact. Johnson contributed to the four Detroit turnovers with a fumble after a catch down the field as well as a tipped pass on one of his targets. After those mistakes, Johnson was unstoppable. He created separation on deep routes with regularity and no combination of defensive backs could prevent Johnson from snaring passes at their highest point. Twice in the second half Johnson was tackled at the one-yard-line, one coming on the play before Matthew Stafford leaped over the goal line for the game-winning score. Considering Johnson's missed sidelines catch and two near-touchdowns, his colossal day could have been even better.
2013 Week 10 vs CHI (17 / 6 / 83 / 2 rec)
Johnson squared off against Charles Tillman and the Bears this week, one of the more difficult matchups for him over his productive career. Matthew Stafford targeted Johnson 17 times, a season-high, and the third straight game of 15 or more as Johnson added another two scores including one to ice the game in the fourth quarter. Tillman was in and out of the lineup early in the game with wrist issues, but remained on Johnson most of the game. Johnson did struggle on an efficiency-basis as he dropped on well-thrown target and a few other jump-ball type opportunities ended up as incompletions. When it counted most, Johnson came through with a key third-down conversion with four minutes to play and the touchdown to put Detroit up 21-13 with two minutes to play. When Chicago played zone coverage, Johnson was able to find the open area and, as usual, was borderline unstoppable when high-pointing passes down the field.
2013 Week 11 vs PIT (13 / 6 / 179 / 2 rec)
Johnson was a dominant force in the first half against Pittsburgh as Detroit built its lead on the road. While Ike Taylor had his share of victories on Johnson's targets with tipped passes and a near interception on a slant route, the sheer volume of targets led to a huge day by Johnson. Stafford found Johnson for two touchdowns, including a long catch-and-run where Johnson shook away from Taylor as he raced to the end zone. When Johnson was single covered, more often than not, he made big plays and racked up yards after the catch. After a game's worth of production in the first 30 minutes, Johnson was held without a catch in the second half. Pittsburgh got more pressure on Stafford in the pocket, which limited the downfield chances in the passing game. Johnson saw a deep target down the sidelines early in the fourth quarter, his first of the second half, which garnered tight coverage and was tipped away. Detroit's backbreaking interception late in the game, sealing the Pittsburgh victory, came when Stafford took a shot to Johnson deep. The roaming safety undercut the route for the easy interception, clinching the win. While Johnson can take over a game at a moment's notice, the on-again, off-again nature of the Detroit offense was on full display this week.
2013 Week 12 vs TB (14 / 7 / 115 / 0 rec)
In the anticipated matchup with Darrelle Revis, Johnson had is up-and-down moments. Mathew Stafford missed Johnson twice in the first half, once on a potential long touchdown, where Johnson beat Revis in single coverage. Just before the halftime, Revis left with an injury and did not return. Johnson took advantage with a strong third quarter including a full-extension post reception. On the final drive, Stafford found Johnson in field goal range as he faded back in the pocket. Johnson made a play on the pass, hauled it in, but was belted by a defender to jar the ball loose. The ball popped up in the air and was intercepted, ending Detroit's chances to tie the game. Johnson had a strong game, with the potential for many more yards and a touchdown with accurate throws, in the loss against Tampa Bay.
2013 Week 13 vs GB (10 / 6 / 101 / 1 rec)
Johnson was limited in the first half to just two targets, converting both into receptions. He was instrumental on a third quarter touchdown drive with three third down conversions and finishing it off with the score. With the game getting out of hand late, the running game took over for Detroit as Joique Bell and Reggie Bush combined for 39 carries. Despite the 100-yard game, there were plenty of missed opportunities for Johnson including a dropped slant where he ran wide open in addition to Sam Shields taking the ball away from Johnson on a deep end zone target. To add injury to the turnover, Johnson's knee buckled awkwardly at the conclusion of the play and he sought treatment on the sidelines. That was his final target of the game.
2013 Week 14 vs PHI (5 / 3 / 49 / 0 rec)
Johnson was one of the biggest victims of the extreme weather conditions against Philadelphia. Stafford struggled to get the ball downfield, including a pass coming up well-short of Johnson in single coverage, a play that would normally be a long gain. It became apparent very early in the game that Johnson would not be as involved as usual. The result was 25 passes as a team with five going to Johnson. On the positive side, two of Johnson's three receptions converted key third downs as Detroit built its lead early in the game. Ultimately it was an aberration game for Johnson as it was the first time all year he saw less than eight targets and his lowest yardage output since Week six.
2013 Week 15 vs BAL (14 / 6 / 98 / 0 rec)
Despite nearly 100 yards against the Ravens, it was a game of missed opportunities for Calvin Johnson on the primetime stage. Johnson saw 14 targets, more than twice that of any other Detroit pass-catcher. At times Johnson was a difference-maker with rugged catches in traffic and a full-extension grab. Most of the game, however, Johnson was dropping passes or Matthew Stafford's passes were just out of reach. Three noted drops were on targets that totaled 50-60 yards downfield, two with after-the-catch potential. In addition, Johnson also could not control an accurate back-shoulder target on a two-point attempt late in the game. That play would have given Detroit a three-point lead, which Baltimore would have tied with their long field goal in the final minute. All in all, it was an underwhelming performance by one of the elite receivers in the game.
2013 Week 16 vs NYG (4 / 3 / 43 / 0 rec)
Johnson was a game-time decision against the Giants with a questionable knee, but gave it a go. Clearly, he was a shell of himself and Johnson saw a season-low four ho-hum targets as a result. Johnson showed good hands on his targets, corralling a back shoulder target down the sideline and a low throw from Stafford on another occasion. On a quick slant route, the Giants defensive back jumped in front of Johnson and nearly came up with the interception at the end of the first half. The rest of the Detroit receivers could not pick up the slack as Johnson did little in the second half of their ultimate elimination game.
2012 Week 1 vs STL (7 / 6 / 111 / 0 rec)
It was unfortunate that Calvin Johnson was not able to score on Sunday, considering he had many targets and hauled in many big plays for his team. Johnson's production suffered slightly from bad luck and too many turnovers by QB Stafford early in the game. Johnson almost had a touchdown early in the game, but he was taken down at the 1 yard line and then RB Bell vulture the touchdown away. This did not take away from the fact that Johnson was still his dominant self and scared defenders into demanding double and triple teams down the field. Johnson did haul in a 50 yard bomb pass down the middle of the field at the end of the first half to set up a fg; he turned his defender completely around and out leapt the DB for a very easy-looking big gain through the air. Johnson also ran out patterns, slants and deep in routes all game. He caught the ball very well and looked just as physical and quick as ever. Johnson caught a strike over the middle late in the game; using his speed to get a lot of yards after the catch and leaving his defender grasping at air. The Lions and QB Stafford had a slightly off day on offense, turning the ball over too much. Regardless, Johnson still produced very well and simply misfortune and bizarre set of circumstances prevented him scoring on the day.
2012 Week 2 vs SF (12 / 8 / 94 / 0 rec)
Calvin Johnson was the only true weapon for the Lions on Sunday night and it was abundantly obvious on the field. Johnson had more than double the catches of any other target for Detroit and the 49ers did everything in their power to ensure he did not beat them. The 49ers played strict 2 man deep coverage with the safeties, one safety almost always over the top of Johnson to ensure the CB had help. Johnson was never able to hit the big play down the field for a touchdown and the Lions offense struggled all game. When a play was needed on third down, Stafford only looked at one teammate for the conversion and if Johnson didn't make the conversion, then the offense usually struggled to convert. Johnson was still able to make some plays for his team but a lot of yards came late in the game as the match had almost been decided. He was able to streak down the field from the slot several times for big gains, getting in between the CB/LB and safety for a big chunk of yards. They also tried Johnson heavily on shallow crossing routes over the middle of the field but this rarely worked and often resulted in Johnson simply taking a big shot by 49ers tough LB's. Johnson was able to secure a big slant catch over the middle of the field to set up a DET touchdown, showing his amazing athletic ability that could only be contained and not stopped but it was too little too late. The Lions asked too much from Johnson against a stiff 49er defense that was determined to limit his impact on the game.
2012 Week 3 vs TEN (12 / 10 / 164 / 1 rec)
Calvin Johnson caught one pass, on one target, for 6 yards in the first half. The Lions trailed 20-9. Calvin Johnson finished the game with 10 catches for 164 yards and a touchdown. In the first half, the Lions chose to prod other areas of offense (see Mikel LeSoure). Although it paid off and LeShoure flourished, Detroit eventually reverted to the winning formula; feed Calvin Johnson the football. Detroit adjusted at halftime, and put Calvin Johnson in the slot position where he found windows and holes in the middle of the Titans secondary and caught passes for chunks at a time. Johnson's touchdown came in the last minute of the 4th quarter. Shaun Hill found Johnson with loose man coverage from 3 yards out, and that scenario is simply indefensible for any team.
2012 Week 4 vs MIN (12 / 5 / 54 / 0 rec)
Johnson had about as rough a day as he has had in a long time. The Vikings played a very physical game against him, getting hands on him and hitting him at the line. Anything they could do to jam him up and keep him from separating, they did. That was compounded by the fact that his quarterback was under such pressure that there was no time for him to go vertical and gain some separation. Even when he did make a catch, he was often hit immediately. After awhile it was clear that this was wearing on him. Another factor were some throws by Stafford which were off target, but close enough for Johnson to make a play for and open himself up to a hit. One play, in the fourth quarter, found Johnson with great position on the defender , though linebacker Chad Greenway was coming over to help. The throw was way too high, but Johnson made a play for it. The pass went off his fingertips and when he came down, he took a hit from Greenway. It wasn't a dirty hit, though it was flag worthy (and drew one) and Greenway immediately knew he'd messed up. It also served to ring Johnson's bell pretty hard. He returned a little while later and drew a pass interference penalty on another incomplete pass. On the final drive, Johnson was targeted three straight times. On the first pass, the ball was high but still went right through Johnson's hands. The second pass went off his hands again, only this time it was a very well thrown pass. The third pass was a fourth down attempt and Johnson was wide open for the catch but even then, it wasn't vintage Johnson as the pass went behind him and he fell down. It was clear that by the end of the game that the constant physical play had exhausted the Lions, and nobody more than Calvin Johnson.
2012 Week 6 vs PHI (13 / 6 / 135 / 0 rec)
Calvin Johnson was well defended for most of the game, and it felt like the Lions struggled to get him the ball. Yet when the final gun sounded, Johnson was the leading receiver for the game from both teams with six receptions for 135 yards, and came up with a huge play in overtime to set up the win for Detroit. The Eagles were in trouble, and called a blitz in the hope of getting Matthew Stafford to make a mistake. Instead, Stafford hung tough and Johnson put on a great inside out move that left him alone in the flat. Stafford hit him perfectly for a 17 yard catch and run after a holding penalty looked like it might have prevented Detroit from being in Field Goal range. The Lions didn't get the first down, but the distance was enough to give them the win. Johnson's 'other' catches all seemed to come in the 4th quarter, but were all for big gains and critical first downs. His first catch came in the first quarter, and it was his only catch through three quarters of play. Yet it was a deep pass down the middle of the field that Johnson made a great play to secure the catch for a big 28 yard gain. With the Lions in trouble in the 4th quarter though, Stafford and Johnson got on the same page in a big way. Stafford's first pass of the 4th quarter was to Johnson down the right side of the field. Megatron turned, made the catch despite being well defended and out-muscled the corner back for an additional 10 yards, giving him a big 37 yard gain. Four plays later, Calvin had what looked like an easy TD reception, but he was called back for pushing off in the end zone. Stafford went right back to him though on the next two plays and the second one was a 20 yard catch and run down to the goal line that set up the TD run by Stafford. With under two minutes to play, Stafford connected with Megatron on a crossing route and Johnson stiff-armed his defender for a big 17 yard gain. Two plays later Stafford threw a floater to Johnson on the sideline and at first it was ruled that Johnson didn't get both feet down on the sideline. However, upon review, it looked like Johnson was able to keep his toes in bounds and it resulted in a big 16 yard gain. Stafford tried to go to Johnson in the end zone with under 10 seconds to play, but the side-arm pass was too high and it fell incomplete. The Lions settled for a field goal and their defense put them in a position to win in overtime.
2012 Week 7 vs CHI (11 / 3 / 34 / 0 rec)
Calvin Johnson lined up against Charles Tillman the entire night and Tillman was on him like a wet blanket. Stafford tried to force the ball into Johnson, multiple times and it was either thrown too high, or Tillman knocked it away. Johnson even dropped a wide open pass on the opening series of the 1st quarter. Johnson's first catch didn't come until mid-way through the third quarter - a short square in on third and three that was good for six yards and a first down. He didn't have another catch until there was less than six minutes left to play. On that drive, the Lions started running Johnson on curl and come-back routes - and he had two catches for 12 and 16 yards. With the Lions on the goal line, Stafford locked into Johnson, trying to force the ball into him in the end zone - but he was covered too well and the one time Stafford tried to force the ball, it was nearly picked off. Johnson had one other potential big play in the game - a deep slant near the end of the third quarter. Johnson was open, but Stafford overthrew him and it was incomplete
2012 Week 8 vs SEA (8 / 3 / 46 / 0 rec)
Johnson struggled for a 2nd consecutive week and was only able to catch three balls despite being targeted eight times, the first catch not coming for nearly three quarters. The Lions opened the game with a deep strike, but Sherman had Johnson blanketed. Johnson's hand didn't even touch the ball until the 3rd quarter as the WR worked between the zone coverage, but the high throw exposed Johnson who took two shots on the play (one from Thomas and the 2nd from the Ford Field turf), jarring the ball loose. The following drive, Johnson finally registered his first catch, beating the coverage inside for 25 yards. Johnson wouldn't make another catch until the following drive, running a nice comeback to pick up 15 yards. Johnson was again targeted on the next play, but his hands deceived him again, as he dropped the very catchable pass. Working from the slot, Johnson's final catch picked up six yards. Later in the drive Johnson and Stafford nearly connected in the end zone for the their first TD. Johnson was able to beat the coverage as he faked the post before breaking the corner route back outside. There was plenty of open space in the end zone as the safety help was bested. However, Johnson was unable to get behind the throw and it sailed off his hands and incomplete. It certainly was a tough catch, but one he makes 99 out of 100 times. As Stafford worked his other receivers early, it was clear Johnson began to find more space as the game wore on. Both just needed to do a better job of taking advantage of those opportunities.
2012 Week 9 vs JAX (8 / 7 / 129 / 0 rec)
Johnson started off looking limited and taking several plays off but by the second quarter he looked nearly 100% and was heavily involved. Johnson's first two receptions came on short in routes, and the cushion the DB was giving made the receptions relatively easy. Johnson's first big gain came on a post route at the end of the first quarter, he bounced off one hit and picked up additional yardage, but didn't quite look like his old self. Johnson's bad scoring luck continued after a 38 yard gain in the second quarter. He beat his man deep down the left side and then ran away from the defender, but was cut down at the one yard line. Johnson wasn't used as much in the second half, but did continue to abuse corners with short hooks because they were so afraid of him getting behind him.
2012 Week 10 vs MIN (13 / 12 / 207 / 1 rec)
He may be having somewhat of a down year, but without Calvin Johnson the Lions' offense would be below average. He proved again today that he is one of the best offensive players in the NFL. Johnson's first reception was a very athletic one as he stretched down low to snatch the ball for a first down on a curl route outside the numbers. Johnson's second reception was a screen pass that was blown up instantly by Chad Greenway. Johnson's first foray deep down the field saw him split two defenders and make a good reception for roughly 20 yards. The Lions went back to Johnson with a quick curl again before the half, but didn't throw him another pass until just before the fourth quarter. Johnson caught a deep comeback over the middle of the field with defenders around him, before catching his longest pass of the day, a 50 yarder, on the very next play. Johnson sprinted down the field to gain inside position on the corner with no safety help. He extended to catch the football but made it look routine coming down with the catch and absorbing a hit. Johnson was carrying the Lions' offense at this point. At the start of the fourth quarter, Stafford was forced to extend the play, before hitting Johnson on a deep comeback route again. That play was followed up with a pass over the middle where Johnson extended above three defenders to reel in the football and absorb an illegal hit to the head. Titus Young caught the touchdown pass at the goalline, before Adrian Peterson ran in a 61 yarder for the Vikings. Johnson caught a crossing route for 17 yards to answer, but fumbled the football and the Vikings took over. The Vikings turned his fumble into a field goal, and Johnson set about making amends immediately with a nine yard slant. A few plays later, Johnson caught another deep comeback when Stafford left the pocket again. That elusive touchdown from his starting quarterback finally came when he converted a well blocked screen in the redzone.
2012 Week 11 vs GB (11 / 5 / 143 / 1 rec)
If you just looked at Calvin Johnson's stats from this game, you'd think that he had a great day both from an NFL prospective and a fantasy prospective. What is missing though is the day that might have been. For starters, his TD reception looked like it should have been intercepted. Morgan Burnett was in perfect position, his timing was right and he had perfect position to intercept the pass. Yet somehow he missed it completely and Johnson made the grab for the touchdown. On the final play of the game for Detroit, Matthew Stafford hit Johnson on an underneath route as the defense was backed off 40 yards to prevent the big play. Megatron had a 30 yard catch and run, then tried to pitch it to Brandon Pettigrew but the pitch (fumble) was intercepted (recovered) by Green Bay. Johnson's first two targets hit him in the hands, but the first one was broken up and the second one he just dropped. In the second quarter, Johnson took off from the slot, then cut to the outside on 3rd and nine. Stafford hit him with a nice pass and he turned it into a 21 yard gain before being knocked out of bounds. The replay showed that he did not have full control of the ball though, and by the time he finally secured it, his second foot was out of bounds. However, Green Bay didn't challenge it and the play stood. Or the play in the second quarter where Johnson got behind the defense and Stafford overthrew him by just a few yards. If Johnson would have been able to catch it, it would have been an easy TD. Overall a typical stat game for Johnson but inches away from being significantly better or significantly worse....
2012 Week 12 vs HOU (17 / 8 / 140 / 1 rec)
Calvin Johnson was clearly in sync with Matt Stafford against the Texans. Despite not matching Andre Johnson's big day as a receiver, Johnson was excellent in his own right. He finished the day with eight receptions for 140 yards including a number of impressive catches. Johnson had a 22 yard touchdown near the end of the first half. On the play, Johnson lined up to the left and used a double-move to get behind the defense. Matt Stafford lofted the ball up off of his back foot. Johnson leapt up and caught the ball as he was falling backwards for the score. Johnson also had an excellent catch in the first quarter. He ran a go pattern from the right side and dove to catch an overthrown Matt Stafford pass. Johnson caught the ball with his fingertips just before it would have hit the ground. Johnson's route running and tremendous size make him difficult to cover on short routes while his speed and athleticism him tough to stop on deep routes. The Texans kept a safety rolled to Johnson's side of the field all day. Else he might have had an even bigger game.
2012 Week 13 vs IND (20 / 13 / 171 / 1 rec)
Calvin Johnson was the definition of dominant on Sunday. He caught passes all over the field and the Colts could never keep him quiet for long. Johnson was an excellent chain moving option for Stafford, keeping drives alive and moving. Johnson was excellent in the short passing game, running slants/ins as he took advantage of man coverage with his superior physical strength and beat his man to the ball. Johnson showed his excellent hands aswell as he made a terrific one handed grab as he outstretched to pull in a pass on the sideline deep down the field. Johnson even made one slant catch and run for a first down despite the fact the defender was all over him and even drew pass interference. The chemistry that exists between QB Stafford and Johnson was visible for anyone to see. Stafford's trust in Johnson shone when he bought time in the pocket before rolling out and allowing Johnson to get open down the field on a post route before rifling a pass for the big touchdown pass. Johnson could not be stopped on Sunday and the Colts did their best to limit his effectiveness but he needs double/triple coverage on every deep pass attempt or it's only a matter of time before he beats you.
2012 Week 14 vs GB (13 / 10 / 118 / 0 rec)
Johnson's first reception went for a first down on a 10 yard curl route against zone coverage. Johnson's second reception came soon after on the other side of the field when he was wide open underneath, however the play was negated for offsetting penalties including a pass interference on Johnson. While they didn't give it to him, it was noteworthy that Johnson lined up in the backfield on a fullback handoff at the goalline. Johnson caught a slant for a first down and 10 yards in the second quarter. Johnson caught another first down pass on a 10 yard curl route on third and five. Johnson caught a deep post route for a first down on third and seven. He also endured a blow to the head as he coralled the football. Stafford went straight back to Johnson on a six yard slant. On second and 17, Johnson caught an 11 yard pass underneath the coverage. Two plays later he caught a quick slant for six yards. Johnson caught a 12 yard out route between two defenders for a first down on third and 10. Johnson caught another pass underneath before fighting forward for five more yards and a first down on first and 10. Johnson had an impact on the game, but the Packers took away the big play and often forced Stafford to look elsewhere with the football. Johnson caught a crossing route for a first down on the Lions' final drive.
2012 Week 15 vs ARI (17 / 10 / 121 / 0 rec)
Johnson was the lone bright spot on the Detroit offense in Arizona, yet had his own blemishes in a matchup against Patrick Peterson and double coverage for a majority of the game. Defensive good backs tipped two of his first three targets with good plays on the ball. Johnson actually had a slow start to the game despite his finishing statistical line. Stafford missed Johnson on multiple occasions where he had separation, especially on a go route in the end zone. On another reception, Johnson was tackled at the 2-yard line, which was his best chance to score. Late in the game, Johnson accumulated nearly half of his yardage with a 30-yard gain after a broken tackle and a gorgeous over-the-shoulder throw and catch between he and Stafford. This week marked Johnson's third straight game of 10+ receptions and 110+ yards. Johnson leads the NFL in targets on the season and has a huge edge over any other receiver since Week 10 with 15.2 targets per game. He has a legitimate chance to break Jerry Rice's longstanding receiving yardage record this season with his likely usage over the final two weeks.
2012 Week 16 vs ATL (16 / 11 / 225 / 0 rec)
Calvin Johnson continues to terrorize secondaries across the NFL. Johnson ran the entire route tree, beating corners deep, across the middle, and down the seam. Johnson amassed 117 of his 225 during the first half by making a variety of acrobatic catches. During the first quarter, Johnson ran a drag route across the middle and accelerated up the right sideline for a 49-yard gain. This reception set the tone for the rest of the game. Johnson followed up by running another drag route. Stafford's pass was high, but Johnson demonstrated impressive body control by extending to make the catch. After effectively working the sidelines, Johnson began attacking the middle of the field, beating Asante Samuel down the seam for gains of 20 and 22 yards, respectively. Johnson needed just one half to post his eighth consecutive 100-yard game. After halftime, Johnson began operating out of the slot. Johnson's first two receptions resulted in gains of 26 and 18 yards, respectively. By making these two catches, Johnson pulled within four yards of Jerry Rice's single season receiving mark. During the fourth quarter, Johnson ran a drag route and secured a 26-yard gain. This play broke Rice's single season mark. Johnson needs just 104 yards for a 2,000 yard season and seems poised to achieve it.
2012 Week 17 vs CHI (14 / 5 / 72 / 0 rec)
For the second time this season, the Bears closed down Calvin Johnson, holding him to under 100 yards receiving and finishing 36 yards short of 2000 for the season. Calvin opened the game with a nice 18 yard catch on the second series of the game. It was a deep slant and the timing of the pass was perfect. He had a nice five yard catch on 3rd and five a few plays later where Stafford threw the ball behind him, and he made a nice spinning grab to come up with the first down. However, the Bears clamped down after that, and Johnson finished the half with just those two receptions. He opened the third quarter with two nice catches for 18 and 24 yards to set up the TD reception by Will Heller. On the longer reception, Johnson ran up the field, then broke to the outside and Stafford threw him a perfect pass for the big gain. It was his longest reception of the day. Johnson had just one more short reception late in the third quarter, but was shut out in the 4th when the Lions were looking to make a comeback. He remains Stafford's favorite target and still finished the year as the #1 fantasy WR.
2011 Week 1 vs TB (10 / 6 / 88 / 2 rec)
Johnson is well on his way to becoming one of the top fantasy receivers in the league. He is the go to guy for Lions and Matt Stafford frequently looked to him when he was going deep. On his first TD reception, Stafford threw a beautiful rainbow pass over two defenders. Johnson made the easy grab and strolled into the end zone for the score. On his second TD reception, Johnson was working one on one and Stafford threw a jump ball for Johnson to go up and get. Johnson could have had a monster day had he come up with a big reception in the second quarter. Stafford rolled out to avoid pressure and threw the ball as deep as he possibly could. Johnson went up against two defenders and got his hands on the ball, but he slipped away from him when he hit the ground. It would have been a 55 to 60 yard reception had he been able to hold on to the ball. One thing is clear moving forward: no one will be able to stop Megatron this season and he and Stafford are poised to have a monster year playing catch.
2011 Week 2 vs KC (7 / 3 / 29 / 2 rec)
On the first drive of the game Stafford found him on a 2nd and 5, Johnson ran a little up and in pattern with a very soft cushion form the Chiefs which allowed him to be wide open for Stafford to make an easy throw. Later in the drive Stafford would connect with Calvin from 15 yards out and Johnson simply cannot be stopped. The Safety came over too late but the speed of Calvin and his size combine for the ultimate red zone target in the NFL. His 3rd and final catch of the day was actually a reprieve for dropping the previous ball in the end zone. He simply cut in front of Flowers and there was nothing between him and Matt Stafford except air and it was an easy 6 for Calvin Johnson. He is nursing an injury and was not used extensively in this blowout. Detroit could have kept feeding him the ball but the game was well in hand.
2011 Week 3 vs MIN (11 / 7 / 108 / 2 rec)
Yes, it is ridiculous to project the first game's stats over an entire season, but when a receiver has 2 TD receptions in each of the first 3 games, it may not be such a crazy projection to see Calvin Johnson maintaining that pace. Once the Lions worked out the kinks and found the openings in the Minnesota secondary, Johnson and QB Matthew Stafford made their outstanding second half performances seem effortless. Johnson came into the game with a mild ankle injury, but you wouldn't know it by the way he and Stafford lit up the Vikings secondary for, first, a 32-yard jump ball Johnson easily came down with for the Lions' first score and, later, a 5-yarder where Johnson inexplicably found himself wide open in the back of the endzone waiting for the Stafford pass. Then, when the Lions had their chance to win the game in overtime, Stafford found Johnson in single coverage down the left sideline for 40 yards and Johnson made a beautiful catch to set up the game-winning FG. Calvin Johnson has become a dominant force at his position and he and Stafford clearly have developed great chemistry. Johnson and Stafford missed a couple of opportunities for TDs, both broken up by nickel corner Chris Cook. One was on a play nearly identical to the 32-yard TD, but Cook knocked it away. The other was a pass deep down the right side that Cook deflected, or Johnson would have had an easy TD.
2011 Week 4 vs DAL (13 / 8 / 96 / 2 rec)
Ho hum. Another week, another two TDS by Calvin Johnson. There really isn't much left to say about this guy - he is arguably the best WR in the game right now. Watch the highlight reels from his TD receptions - he is a guy that will go up and get the ball, no matter how covered he is. On his first TD, Stafford basically threw up a jump ball, and despite three guys in the area and two right on top of him, Megatron out battled everyone to come down with the TD. With under two minutes to play, everyone and their brother knew the ball was going to him. The Cowboys couldn't double him in case the Lions decided to run. Big mistake. Stafford again put up a perfect jump ball and Johnson proved his 'Megatron' nickname was well deserved because he wasn't going to be stopped. He calmly out-jumped the defender, came down with the ball and the win for Detroit. On a day when Matt Stafford was not especially accurate or sharp, Johnson made it all look easy.
2011 Week 5 vs CHI (6 / 5 / 130 / 1 rec)
His 1st catch of the night came shortly into the 2nd quarter and for some reason the DB released him at the line and then Chris Harris was left with the daunting task of trying to keep up with him in the open field. Then to rub things in he broke the tackles of both Harris and Brandon Merriweather as he scooted his way into the end zone for a 73 yard touchdown. The rest of his receptions were a mix of short slants or sideline hooks because the DBs play off of him as they fear his speed. Nothing quite as exciting as his first reception of the night. Chicago tried to reroute him the rest of the night but obviously couldn't do it every time. Another great night for Johnson.
2011 Week 6 vs SF (9 / 7 / 113 / 0 rec)
Johnson was quiet in the first half, with just three short receptions, one of which went for his 300th career catch. The Lions had a lot of opportunities to look to him in the red zone and near the goal line, but oddly they kept going in other directions. They did manage two scores through the air, but it certainly was noticeable that the team wasn't using arguably the most dangerous red zone weapon in the league. He finally got free in the secondary a little bit late in the game for a couple of nice grabs, and capped it with a huge 40-yard catch and run. For most of the game, there were several defenders dragging to him whenever he made a move. There was one play on which he was left in single coverage on a deep ball. Stafford tried throwing it up for a jump ball (a pass Johnson would very likely have come down with), but it was thrown about seven yards out of bounds near the goal line.
2011 Week 7 vs ATL (11 / 5 / 115 / 1 rec)
Calvin Johnson was on form in this game as he usually is but his problem was due to his QB Stafford's play. Despite this, Johnson had a big day that could have been bigger as Atlanta had no answer for him except to get to Stafford. Johnson broke several big runs over the middle of the field on slants and short routes that he turned into consistent first downs. Stafford missed Johnson deep however as he under threw him just enough to allow the DB to make a play on the ball and tip it away. Johnson was also open on a slant in the redzone but Stafford threw it behind him. Johnson looked truly dominant on his touchdown catch and run. He caught a short slant over the middle and the DB bounced off and had no chance at tackling such a giant as he walked into the endzone. His elite size and speed talent combination was enough to dominate Atlanta's secondary when he got the ball, unfortunately Johnson was limited as his QB was not at his best.
2011 Week 8 vs DEN (7 / 6 / 125 / 1 rec)
Calvin Johnson spent most of this game on Champ Bailey's equivalent of 'Revis Island', and Johnson finished the first quarter without a catch or even a target. His first catch didn't come until the second drive of the second quarter - a short curl route where he made the catch and spun forward for a gain of 11. On that play, he lined up in the slot and Bailey didn't cover him. On the next drive, Stafford used play action to fool the defense and hit Johnson on a deep 19 yard crossing route over the middle, showing that Stafford wasn't afraid to go after Bailey, but he was only picking his moments. With time winding down In the second quarter, Stafford again looked to his big receiver, hitting him on a short crossing route where Johnson was able to spin and push up field for a big 17 yard gain, and then a quick screen two plays later where Johnson used his size and speed to get the ball down to the 1 yards line for Maurice Morris to punch in. In the third quarter, Johnson added one quick nine yard slant before blowing up the defense on his 56 yard TD reception. On the play, the Broncos jumped off side and it seemed like the defense just stopped expecting the play to be blown dead. It was not, and when Johnson broke down the field, he blew by the defensive secondary. Stafford flicked the ball off of his back foot and it sailed down to Johnson for the easy TD reception.
2011 Week 10 vs CHI (20 / 7 / 81 / 0 rec)
Calvin Johnson was clearly the 'go to' guy for the lions, and he finished the day with 19 total targets. However, he failed to reach the end zone, and by the end of the game, he was sitting out a few plays due to the constant pounding that he was taking every time he touched the ball. On the opening series, Johnson took a quick dump in the flat and was immediately dropped hard by Julius Peppers. He fumbled the ball and the Bears recovered it for their first turnover. In the fourth quarter, Johnson took a quick slant from Stafford for a short four yard catch. He was met by Lance Briggs, who took a brutal shot and dropped him immediately after the catch, drawing a 15 yard unnecessary roughness penalty. Megatron did have a chance to score in the second quarter, where he had beaten the defender as was open in the end zone. However, Stafford threw the ball too high, and it sailed over Johnson's head. His best play came in the third quarter, when Stafford saw him working one on one down the right side of the field, and threw a perfect rainbow for Johnson to haul in and go out of bounds for a big 40 yard gain. He had just six catches for 41 yards aside from that play.
2011 Week 11 vs CAR (8 / 5 / 89 / 0 rec)
Calvin Johnson was kept quiet for the majority of this game, but he did come up in the clutch for the Lions. Johnson was targeted deep on the second offensive play for Detroit, but the pass was broken up by the CB in coverage. Johnson made some shorter receptions as the Lions opted to dink and dunk their way down the field. Johnson showed terrific drive and toughness after the catch. Johnson's best reception by far was a leaping catch late in the fourth quarter. Stafford trusted Johnson to go up and get the football between two defenders in the area and he did just that. Johnson was kept out of the end zone in this game, but he is arguably the #1 overall WR for the rest of the season.
2011 Week 12 vs GB (8 / 4 / 49 / 1 rec)
Calvin Johnson spent most of the day double covered. The Packers checked him at the line with a CB and then added a safety over the top on almost every play. As a result, Johnson was absent from the commentary for most of the day. He had just one reception in the first half, a 23 bomb down the middle of the field when he was able to gain separation on a deep crossing route. He didn't touch the ball again until about five minutes left in the third, where he caught a short five yard square in. The TD pass was in garbage time, with the Lions down 24-8 with no time left on the clock. Calvin ran a short crossing route and Stafford hit him in the back of the end zone for a TD.
2011 Week 13 vs NO (9 / 6 / 69 / 0 rec)
Calvin played a decoy role and short possession role very well in this game. On decoy routes, he would go downfield, carry two defenders and watch as the play went to the other side and to a different wide open receiver. Calvin did have one great catch and run down to the 2 yard line, but that was really the only time he threatened. His numbers are coming down to earth a bit, but his presence still affects the offense tremendously.
2011 Week 14 vs MIN (4 / 3 / 29 / 0 rec, 1 / 11 / 0 rush)
Calvin Johnson had a very quiet game for the Lions, finishing with just four touches and five targets. His one rushing attempt was a nice reverse for an 11 yard gain, but he took a hard shot at the end of the run and had to come out for several plays to recover. His three receptions were just short and medium passes over the middle, where he was tackled almost immediately. Without a legitimate running game, defense are double teaming Calvin on every down. They will need to run more slants to him if they want him to contribute anything more than giving Titus Young a chance to shine.
2011 Week 15 vs OAK (14 / 9 / 214 / 2 rec)
Made big play after big play. His 1st catch of the day as a bomb from Stafford where he beat the coverage for a long TD but he made it look very routine and you knew early on he was going to have a very big day like he was doing in the beginning of the season. He went on to have almost 100 yards by halftime and then was largely untargeted until the 4th quarter when Detroit was down 27-21 and on their final drive. Calvin came thru for owners and the Lions by grabbing 3 big receptions for 75 yards and a touchdown to cap off one of his biggest days ever in his career. Johnson had been making owners nervous the past 4-5 weeks but he suddenly exploded on Sunday. Johnson had 3 pass interference calls by our count so there actually were more points left on the table for Calvin.
2011 Week 16 vs SD (6 / 4 / 102 / 1 rec)
At first glance, Johnson's stats look pretty typical. Roughly 100 yards and a touchdown. But it was his impact on all of the other receivers that was so significant. The Chargers wanted to make a conscious effort to ensure they weren't beaten deep by Johnson. So what did he do on the game's very first play from scrimmage? He broke downfield, made a great adjustment on the ball in the air, and fell to the ground as he hauled in a 46-yard bomb to immediately put Detroit in scoring position. After that, the Chargers devoted even MORE attention to Johnson, so much so that the other receivers were able to roam around the field almost unchecked (a big reason Matthew Stafford completed over 80% of his passes despite only completing four of them to Johnson). Johnson came close on two other big play opportunities, but both ended up as incompletions due to the incredible efforts of S Eric Weddle of the Chargers. Stafford rolled out to his left and hoisted a jump ball into the end zone from about fifty yards away to Johnson. He momentarily had it in his hands, but as he was trying to bring it down, Weddle managed to knock it away from him. Later, Johnson leapt between two defenders along the sideline to make the catch but Weddle shoved him out of bounds before Johnson could get both feet in. It would have been a catch under the old "push-out" rule, but this one was incomplete. But Johnson got the last word when he streaked towards the end zone down the sideline and hauled in the scoring pass despite taking a big hit at the end. That tied the Detroit team record for most receiving touchdowns in one season, a mark he'll look to break in next week's finale.
2011 Week 17 vs GB (17 / 11 / 244 / 1 rec)
A typical game for Megatron this season - 11 receptions for over 200 yards, his career best 16th TD reception of the season and 11 first downs for the Lions. His SHORTEST play was as 12 yard crossing route on the final drive of the game. His best series was late in the third quarter, where he caught a beautiful 41 yard rainbow from Stafford on the second play of the series, and he followed it up with a similar 27 yard rainbow two plays later. It put the Lions in scoring position and let them take the lead again in the game. Johnson was just flat out unstoppable, and he continues to prove time and again that he can't be single covered without going off. With seven receptions for 20 or more yards, Johnson proved that he truly is 'unstoppable.'
2011 Week 18 vs NO (15 / 12 / 211 / 2 rec)
Calvin Johnson was unstoppable at times on Saturday vs. the Saints and he owes a lot of his production to his QB and offensive line. Johnson is far and away the biggest offensive threat the Lions have and one of the biggest game breakers in the NFL today. There is such a big drop off from Johnson to the #2 target however and he ended up having to carry the offensive workload with Stafford. Johnson ran slants, ins and post routes against the Saints while using his incredible size to gain leverage against defenders on shorter routes. He split defenders often using his elite speed and size and great chemistry with Stafford to get around double / triple coverage. Stafford threw high to Johnson on a number of plays to give his giant WR an advantage that meant extra men in coverage didn't mean much. Johnson ran into back of endzone and made a terrific turn in air to haul in a touchdown pass in first half. Johnson also turned a short out route into a big gain down the sideline thanks to his ability to break some tackles and just dominate smaller DB's. Johnson was even able to haul in a medium slant pattern in triple coverage which shows Stafford's confidence in his star WR. Johnson was afforded some time in the endzone to unravel on a play in the second half and Stafford found him up high for his second touchdown that he just plucked out of the air and gave his defender no shot at defending the play. Calvin Johnson has unique athletic ability and size that defenses pay attention to and Stafford has found a way around getting the ball to his super star WR which makes him even more dangerous.
2010 Week 1 vs CHI (10 / 4 / 45 / 0 rec)
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.
2010 Week 2 vs PHI (11 / 4 / 50 / 1 rec)
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.
2010 Week 3 vs MIN (7 / 6 / 56 / 0 rec, 1 / 2 / 0 rush)
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.
2010 Week 4 vs GB (11 / 6 / 86 / 2 rec, 1 / 2 / 0 rush)
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.
2010 Week 5 vs STL (9 / 4 / 54 / 1 rec)
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.
2010 Week 6 vs NYG (7 / 5 / 146 / 1 rec)
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.
2010 Week 8 vs WAS (15 / 9 / 101 / 3 rec)
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.
2010 Week 9 vs NYJ (4 / 1 / 13 / 0 rec)
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.
2010 Week 10 vs BUF (14 / 10 / 128 / 1 rec)
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.
2010 Week 11 vs DAL (10 / 6 / 46 / 1 rec)
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.
2010 Week 12 vs NE (7 / 4 / 81 / 1 rec, 1 / 15 / 0 rush)
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.
2010 Week 13 vs CHI (5 / 3 / 66 / 1 rec)
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.
2010 Week 14 vs GB (8 / 1 / 44 / 0 rec, 1 / 13 / 0 rush)
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.
2010 Week 15 vs TB (12 / 10 / 152 / 0 rec)
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.
2010 Week 16 vs MIA (7 / 4 / 52 / 0 rec)
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.
2009 Week 1 vs NO (13 / 3 / 90 / 0 rec)
Johnson picked up where he left off in 2008, showing his hands, quickness and physical style of wide receiver play on a pair of receptions during the Lions' second series. Johnson turned two quick hitting routes into solid gains by catching passes in stride and breaking tackles. Johnson gained separation on the Saints' corners regularly, but often fell victim to Matthew Stafford's struggles with inaccuracy as the game progressed, unable to haul in a number of overthrown and shorthopped passes. Johnson was targeted eleven times, but could manage only three catches. Johnson was able to turn an in route into a long gain and nearly a touchdown in the second half, again breaking tackles and running away from the Saints' secondary after beating man coverage.
2009 Week 2 vs MIN (7 / 5 / 51 / 1 rec, 2 / 16 / 0 rush)
Early in the game, the Lions looked to Johnson often. He was the target of several short and medium passes, and used in end around rushes and as a decoy for Smith who was able to break a longer gain as the defense keyed on him. He was open in the first quarter but Stafford narrowly missed the pass to him. If the ball would have been thrown better, the Lions would have been up 7-0 instead of settling for a FG. He caught a TD pass later in the game and was solid whenever he had the ball. The problem for the Lions was that they were focused on establishing their running game and Johnson did not touch the ball nearly as much as he should have. Kevin Smith had a solid game against a tough defense, but it was at the expense of Calvin Johnson. When they went back to him later in the game, he continued to produce results but it was a little too late at that point.
2009 Week 3 vs WAS (7 / 5 / 49 / 0 rec, 1 / 9 / 0 rush)
Calvin was used more a decoy/setup man for Kevin Smith in the first half. The Lions ran multiple fake reverses where Smith ran the ball up the gut for big gains. He had a few minor receptions and one key series where he ran for nine yards, and had two back to back receptions for 27 yards. He had a big 36 yard gain in the 3rd quarter that was called back on a questionable pass interference call on him. He finished the game with only minor statistics and was more of a set-up man for Bryant Johnson.
2009 Week 4 vs CHI (12 / 8 / 133 / 0 rec, 1 / 12 / 0 rush)
As expected, Calvin Johnson led all Detroit receivers in yardage, targets and receptions by a wide margin. The Bears' secondary is not at full strength and was questionable even before injuries started to hit them, so the Lions' game plan against Chicago was to push the ball downfield with Calvin Johnson. Johnson adjusted on errant and inaccurate throws from Stafford, making both of their numbers look better. Once Stafford settles in and gets used to the pro level the sky is the limit for Johnson.
2009 Week 5 vs PIT (1 / 1 / 2 / 0 rec)
Calvin Johnson did not let a bruised thigh keep him from starting in Week 5 against Pittsburgh. He caught one ball for a couple of yards and then hurt his leg and had to leave the game in the first quarter. He was unable to return to the game against Pittsburgh and not much is being revealed about the leg injury after the game. Johnson and the Lions have an interesting decision to make as Detroit visits Green Bay in Week 6 but the next week is Detroit's bye. Should Detroit decide to rest Johnson, they would in effect give him an extra two weeks off due to the bye.
2009 Week 9 vs SEA (9 / 2 / 27 / 0 rec)
One could argue that Calvin Johnson's return from injury might have hurt the Lions more than helped them. He frequently drew double coverage, and although Stafford checked down to other receivers a lot during the game, he still tried to force the ball to Calvin on a few plays and it resulted in interceptions. Calvin struggled to get open for most of the game, and finished with only two minor receptions for just 27 yards. Not the 'Megatron' type numbers you normally expect from him.
2009 Week 10 vs MIN (13 / 8 / 84 / 0 rec)
Calvin Johnson is clearly not 100% yet. He looks like he's playing at half speed, and does not have the aggressive intensity that earned him the 'Megatron' knickname. He dropped several very catchable passes, and was easily tackled after making his other receptions. On the final series of the second quarter, he had three receptions that resulted in almost 50 of his 84 total yards receiving, giving him less than 7 yards per reception for the majority of his contributions. He looked slower and dejected by the second half and could not seem to get open, even when the Vikings were blitzing on every down. Between his lack of effectiveness and the constant pounding that Stafford was taking, he was not a big factor in this game.
2009 Week 11 vs CLE (11 / 7 / 161 / 1 rec)
Johnson had a short red zone target knocked away, then narrowly missed getting his feet in bounds on a deep fade pattern in the end zone early. After the early near-misses, Johnson torched the two-deep Cleveland coverage for multiple deep catches, including a deep double move that went for a 75 yard catch and run for a score. Johnson separated from man coverage on the rare occasions the Browns tried to defend him that way and shed tackles easily to add yards after the catch.
2009 Week 12 vs GB (12 / 2 / 10 / 1 rec)
Calvin Johnson has been hampered by a knee injury over the past few weeks and was a surprise start this week for the Lions. Johnson was looked at often by Matt Stafford, seeing a game high 12 targets overall. Despite the many looks, Johnson was largely ineffective as he was only able to bring in 2 catches for 10 yards. One of his receptions was a nice back shoulder TD catch (his 3rd of the season). It was clear throughout the game that his knee injury was limiting his effectiveness. He was slow to pull himself off of the turf on multiple occasions.
2009 Week 13 vs CIN (11 / 6 / 123 / 1 rec)
The Bengals pressed Johnson at the line of scrimmage and usually had safety help on top. That strategy worked well at times, as Johnson had a couple of potential long gains knocked free by a second defender. At other times, Johnson went up to get balls at their highest point between the two defenders and made plays. He was also able to turn defenders when running deep routes to gain separation, including on a long post pattern in which he walked into the end zone untouched after catching the ball in stride inside the ten yard line.
2009 Week 14 vs BAL (13 / 4 / 37 / 0 rec)
Calvin Johnson grabbed only four out of 12 targets for a minimal 37 yards in Week 14, but he was targeted several times deep down the field by backup QB Daunte Culpepper. Johnson was often double-teamed with coverage, as the Ravens dared Detroit to try and win the game without their best wide receiver. Johnson should start to get healthier performances once Matthew Stafford comes back, which may be as soon as next week as Detroit faces the Arizona Cardinals.
2009 Week 15 vs ARI (6 / 3 / 35 / 0 rec)
Johnson's first catch came on a deflected ball, and even when he got open deep downfield, Culpepper couldn't reach him, instead throwing an easy INT. He tried to adjust to a later underthrow, but couldn't, and Johnson generally struggled to even get catchable targets from this terrible QB combo. He did throw a block and escort Maurice Morris to the end zone on his long TD run and made a nice run after catch on the drive that tied the game at 24. Things couldn't get much worse for Johnson from a fantasy standpoint, but better days will come.
2009 Week 16 vs SF (12 / 7 / 96 / 0 rec, 2 / 32 / 0 rush)
When Drew Stanton was at QB, Calvin Johnson enjoyed the majority of the offensive attention. He opened the game with a 19 yard reverse and was the guy that Stanton looked to early and often in the passing game. Johnson had another run later in the first half, and actually went into half-time as the leading rusher from both teams. Stanton continued to feed him the ball, despite being double covered for most of the game. This proved to be Johnson's undoing as the Niners went for the strip, more than the tackle, and Johnson fumbled the ball away twice at key points during the game.
2009 Week 17 vs CHI (10 / 6 / 86 / 1 rec, 1 / 4 / 0 rush)
Calvin Johnson was the key focus of the Detroit passing attack, despite being double and triple covered for most of the game. Daunte Culpepper's second pass was a deep throw down the right side of the field to Johnson, but the two were not on the same page because Johnson broke it off after about 15 yards. The ball sailed over his head and was easily picked off. He had several nice catch and run plays throughout the game, including receptions of 12, 18, 19 and 23 yards. Early in the fourth quarter, Johnson took a reverse from Maurice Morris that was totally foiled by the Bears. The ball barely got to Johnson before he was hit and being pressured by the Chicago defense. Johnson broke away form the defenders, and turned what should have been a six or seven yard loss into a four yard gain. As the game was winding down, Johnson was the target of several last minute attempts, but was well covered and they fell incomplete. He fell just short of breaking 1000 yards receiving for the season, and finished just outside of the top 20 for fantasy WRS.
2008 Week 1 vs ATL (10 / 7 / 107 / 0 rec)
It was a sour homecoming for the former Georgia Tech standout. Johnson led all receivers with seven balls for 107 yards and looks like he's ready to pick up where he left off last year. At times, he looked like a man among boys on the field.
2008 Week 2 vs GB (12 / 6 / 129 / 2 rec)
It was a tale of two halves for Johnson who was targeted only three times in the first two quarters, one of which was an uncharacteristic drop on third and ten. In the second half, however, it was Johnson who almost single handedly brought his team back to take a brief fourth quarter lead. In the final thirty minutes Johnson converted his eight targets into almost 100 yards and a pair of impressive touchdowns. On the first, Johnson was able to reach back and make a juggling grab on a pass from QB Jon Kitna that was slightly underthrown. On the second, Johnson took a five yard pass, evaded three defenders, and turned it into a 47 yard score.
2008 Week 3 vs SF (10 / 4 / 40 / 0 rec)
Johnson was targeted a team high 10 times for the game, but came down with just four receptions for 40 yards. He got three third down targets, and was thrown to deep down field a few times, so Detroit was making a point to try to get him the ball.
2008 Week 5 vs CHI (6 / 2 / 16 / 0 rec)
Johnson did not receive many opportunities in this game, catching only two balls for 16 yards. He was targeted another four times, but none of these balls were anywhere near him, giving him no chance to make a play.
2008 Week 6 vs MIN (7 / 4 / 85 / 1 rec)
Johnson and Orlovsky had a solid connection, with Johnson not only being targeted the most, but being the only deep target in this game. He was targeted five times on deep patterns, which he ran well, getting open on most of them thanks to a combination of excellent speed and good route running. Johnson displayed good hands as well as running after securing shorter passes. He left the game after absorbing a hard hit late in the game, on a controversial play where it was ruled he had fumbled, and did not return afterwards.
2008 Week 7 vs HOU (4 / 2 / 154 / 1 rec, 1 / -2 / 0 rush)
Calvin Johnson was targeted only six times, but he responded with two receptions for 154 yards, including a fourth quarter 96 yard touchdown reception. Nearly all of his targets came on deep routes, but unfortunately for Johnson and the Lions, only one resulted in a score. Johnson also added a two point conversion reception following his long score and was used on an end around for a two yard loss.
2008 Week 8 vs WAS (6 / 4 / 57 / 1 rec, 1 / 7 / 0 rush)
As the Lions' sole legitimate offensive star, Johnson was the focus of the Redskins defense all day long. As such, his opportunities to make plays were few, and he saw only six targets on the day. When given the chance, however, Johnson did tend to make things happen. In the first half Johnson only saw two passes thrown his way, but he hauled in one of them for 31 yards on a play action pass down the left sideline that set up the Lions' first TD on the following play. On the second pass he just missed hauling in a 24 yard TD toss in the end-zone. In the second half, Johnson was again blanketed much of the time, but midway through the fourth quarter he took a short pass and fought through defenders for 17 yards before stretching out the ball while getting his head-wrenched around with a face mask to get it into the end zone for six points.
2008 Week 9 vs CHI (18 / 8 / 94 / 1 rec, 1 / -6 / 0 rush)
Johnson caught a touchdown on a nice fade route early in the second quarter, making a leaping catch and landing with both feet inbounds. Most of the throws Johnson was getting through the game were short slanting routes, usually good for an easy five or six yards. Although he caught under half his targets, he only had a couple dropped balls, so he really was not at fault for the poor percentage. Johnson finished the afternoon with eight receptions for 94 yards and a touchdown.
2008 Week 10 vs JAX (7 / 2 / 92 / 0 rec)
WR Calvin Johnson only reeled-in two catches but they were both long bombs. It does not appear like he has a quarterback that can get him the ball consistently and accurately. Johnson also recovered an onsides kick.
2008 Week 11 vs CAR (10 / 6 / 65 / 1 rec)
Johnson had a solid game, but was fairly quiet after getting out of the gates with a 29 yard touchdown reception. He only caught three more passes after the opening drive. The Panthers seemed to focus on stopping Johnson rather than worrying about the run and it ended up shutting Johnson down for the most part.
2008 Week 12 vs TB (6 / 3 / 66 / 1 rec)
Johnson was targeted seven times; five on third downs, and came down with three receptions for 66 yards and a 15 yard touchdown. It's a shame the Lions can't get him more targets, because he looks unstoppable in coverage on balls he has a chance on.
2008 Week 13 vs TEN (9 / 5 / 66 / 0 rec)
Johnson did not have the greatest fantasy stats, but he did play well. He is consistently seeing opposing teams best corner and usually with safety help. This limited his deep threat, so he and Culpepper took more of the shorter routes. Johnson ran lots of slants and outs for average yardage.
2008 Week 14 vs MIN (5 / 3 / 84 / 1 rec)
Johnson didn't catch his first pass of the game until just before the two minute warning in the first half, and he only caught three passes the entire game. But one of them happened to be a 70 yard touchdown bomb down the left sideline that gave him a fine fantasy performance. He ran a fly pattern right by CB Cedric Griffin and hauled in the deep ball from Daunte Culpepper right in stride. He maintained his footing and outraced both Griffin and S Darren Sharper the rest of the way to the end zone for the score. He had earlier been targeted on a corner fade in the end zone, but got his feet tangled with CB Antoine Winfield and fell to the ground as the pass sailed over both players for an incompletion. Later, Johnson caught what appeared to be a key third down reception with just under six minutes remaining. He dove to the ground and caught a 13 yard pass that gave Detroit a first and goal at the Vikings' eight yard line. The call on the field was challenged by Minnesota. Despite the fact that the call was a completed pass and there was no inconclusive evidence to suggest otherwise, the ruling was inexplicably overturned and ruled an incompletion. The Lions had to settle for a field goal, and never got close to scoring again.
2008 Week 15 vs IND (16 / 9 / 110 / 1 rec)
His nine catch performance is a career high and his potential seems almost unlimited. He has raw talent but he is also reported to be serious about improving and putting in the necessary work. His 33 yard touchdown catch came on a slant pattern where he quickly beat the corner inside, caught the bullet pass in stride, and split the safeties running full stride. He was hit low around the five yard line, spun around and dove into the end zone. Last week the 6'5", 239 pound receiver surpassed the 1,000 yard mark for the first time. Although his 65 catches are low for an elite receiver, Johnson has scored in seven of the past nine games. Remarkable numbers when you consider that the Lions' QB committee has been sacked an NFL worst 50 times this season.
2008 Week 16 vs NO (8 / 4 / 64 / 0 rec)
All but one of Johnson's targets came in the first half. He hurt his ankle and/or knee early the second half and did not return. Johnson was a difference maker in the Lion offense. He averaged 18 yards per catch and had a 43 yard touchdown reception called back by a penalty. After he left the game, the Detroit offense was not as effective. Johnson's long gain of 28 yards came mostly after he broke a tackle to pick up big yardage; he came very close to breaking the play for a touchdown. Johnson lined up once in the backfield.
2008 Week 17 vs GB (17 / 9 / 102 / 2 rec)
Johnson was targeted a team high 17 times and responded with nine receptions for 102 yards and touchdowns from nine and 14 yards out. He was targeted on four third down plays and two fourth down attempts.
2007 Week 1 vs OAK (6 / 4 / 70 / 1 rec)
The much anticipated debut of the top specialty player drafted in the 2007 draft did not make the fans wait long, posting a 16 yard touchdown reception early in the second half. His 70 yards receiving was good for second highest total on the team and is a glimpse of his potential to come. While officially not a starter, he was on the field often and could be considered a starter when taking into account the Lions' number of plays in a three wide receiver set.
2007 Week 2 vs MIN (10 / 4 / 61 / 1 rec, 1 / 7 / 0 rush)
Assuming he is able to remain healthy, there is very little reason to think Calvin Johnson won't make a huge impact during his first season in the league. His targets steadily increased throughout the game after a very quiet beginning, but there were no shots of him pouting or giving up on plays. He simply kept working, getting open, and eventually making some plays. There was a designed play for him in the end zone on a corner fade that was knocked away at the last moment, and he eventually did score on a similar fade pass to the front corner. He may have gotten away with a push-off on his touchdown reception, but either way it appeared like he was toying with the defender. QB J.T. O'Sullivan simply dropped back and lobbed up a jump ball, which Johnson easily came down with for his second career NFL touchdown. He was also targeted on several different kinds of passes, meaning he wasn't simply used as a deep threat exclusively or a red zone target exclusively. He is as involved as anyone else out there for Detroit, and his skill set is becoming more and more evident with each game. And if nothing else, it would appear that at the very least, he is going to play a very significant role in the red zone and near the goal line.
2007 Week 3 vs PHI (2 / 2 / 58 / 0 rec)
Johnson caught his first pass half way through the second quarter on short pass that he took for 19 yards and a first down. He made a great catch going up between two defenders and hauling down a 39 yard catch in the second quarter. He showed exceptional athleticism and concentration on going up to get the ball, but unfortunately he got hurt on the play on what was reported a lower back injury. He did not return to the game and finished with two receptions for 58 yards.
2007 Week 5 vs WAS (3 / 1 / 3 / 0 rec)
Returning from injury, Calvin Johnson had one short catch for three yards. Johnson seemed to run smoothly and showed no ill effects of his previous back injury.
2007 Week 7 vs TB (3 / 2 / 37 / 0 rec, 1 / 32 / 1 rush)
Johnson showed terrific hands in reaching low for his first reception of the game, a 19 yard pickup. His second catch of the afternoon was even more impressive, as it featured a similar route but with a dive at the end for the highlight reels. But his biggest highlight came on a reverse run. After a shifty move to get away from one would-be tackler, he employed a dynamite stiff-arm to get rid of Cato June. As he scampered up the right sideline, he quickly cut back to the middle of the field to avoid yet another tackler. And finally, he shook off Barrett Ruud at the five yard line before spinning his way into the end zone for the 32 yard score. We have heard all week that Detroit wants to get Johnson more involved in the offense. He had just three total touches in this game, but after such an impressive display of his talents, that number may increase significantly in the coming weeks.
2007 Week 8 vs CHI (4 / 2 / 44 / 0 rec, 1 / 11 / 0 rush)
Johnson's first catch came on a 21 yard pick up over the middle of the field for a first down late in the second quarter. He came back a couple of plays later and caught a 23 yard pass. He finished the first half with two catches for 44 yards. Johnson almost had a touchdown early in the third quarter when he made a nice diving catch in the corner of the end zone, but he was clearly out of bounds. Johnson would not have a catch in the second half.
2007 Week 9 vs DEN (5 / 3 / 47 / 0 rec)
Johnson caught three passes in the game. He'd been limited with a back issue earlier in the week and seemed to be the third option after Williams and McDonald.
2007 Week 10 vs ARI (5 / 3 / 37 / 0 rec)
Johnson finished the game with three receptions for 37 yards mainly on deep out routes. In the first quarter, he did have a potential touchdown taken away by a good defensive play by the Cardinals secondary. Two plays later, running back Kevin Jones scored on a four yard run.
2007 Week 11 vs NYG (3 / 3 / 45 / 1 rec)
Johnson only saw three targets but made the most of them, as he was able to bring in all three for 45 yards and a touchdown. His touchdown grab, which was the Lions only one of the game, came in the second half, as Johnson used his leaping ability to haul in the 35 yard deep ball from Jon Kitna.
2007 Week 12 vs GB (15 / 7 / 83 / 1 rec)
It was clear early on that the Lions were going to make a concerted effort to get Calvin Johnson involved in the game. However, the vast majority of passes that went his way had a negative outcome for Detroit (at least in the first half). Of Johnson's eight first half targets, two resulted in dropped passes and one resulted in an interception - the interception was partly Johnson's fault as well for failing to come back to the football properly. The drops, one of which would have easily gone for 20+ yards, were easy catches that just about every receiver in the league should make. But the Lions continued feeding him after halftime, and he responded with a much improved showing. He snared a six yard touchdown grab between two defenders in traffic, and later caught two passes downfield that both resulted in big hits on him. Each time he got to his feet a bit gingerly, as the hits were right on his back, which has bothered him for much of the season. But he remained in the game after each one without grimacing or limping or giving any indication of a re-aggravation of an injury. At times, the Lions appear to use him almost like the Patriots use Randy Moss or the Cowboys use Terrell Owens. Sometimes Jon Kitna will simply toss up jump balls downfield for Johnson and the defensive back to go after. It didn't really work in this game, as Kitna was nearly intercepted twice because of that, but it shows the confidence they have in Johnson to come down with the football more often than not.
2007 Week 13 vs MIN (3 / 1 / 17 / 0 rec)
Johnson had a quiet day, receiving just three targets, and catching just one. His first look was a desperation heave from Kitna, throwing the ball as he was hit. Johnson came back for the ball, but it was thrown well short. His next target was on a quick slant, and Johnson was wide open. The ball hit him in the hands, and it was a simple mental lapse as he dropped the ball. Kitna came back to him on the very next play, with the Lions going for it on fourth down. Johnson ran another slant and held on to the ball for 17 yards.
2007 Week 14 vs DAL (8 / 5 / 51 / 0 rec)
Johnson showed that he has the potential to be a star player in the league. He knows how to use his hands and his body to make the tough catches and has shown that he can be a reliable target. With Johnson able to make plays the other receivers began to see more passes thrown their way as the Cowboy backs were forced to rotate coverage his way. Johnson did have a potential touchdown catch bounce off his hands when Kitna threw the ball high into double coverage in the end zone. Johnson used his height and leaping ability to get both hands on the ball but was unable to bring it down in the sea of hands that were two defenders.
2007 Week 15 vs SD (11 / 5 / 102 / 0 rec)
While many expected Johnson to come into the league and simply dominate from the outset, that obviously has not been the case. And despite the 102 yards he put up in this game, this was yet another example of his wild inconsistency. He dropped each of the first two passes he saw, including one crucial one on a third down slant. But he alternated plays like those with plays like his diving catch where he all but picked the ball off the turf. He also hauled in a 49 yard bomb to end the first half on a Hail Mary pass play, but he was taken down just shy at the one yard line. It was an impressive display of strength to hold his ground and catch the ball in traffic, but he was unable to get the rest of the way in. With Roy Williams out for the remainder of the season, the next few weeks are a great opportunity for Johnson to finish strongly in preparation for 2008.
2007 Week 16 vs KC (5 / 2 / 47 / 0 rec, 1 / 2 / 0 rush)
Johnson pulled in two of the passes sent his way for 47 yards. He saw a couple passes sail away off target. In what could be considered a battle between two of the top rookie wide receivers, Johnson clearly is currently behind the Chiefs' Dwayne Bowe.
2007 Week 17 vs GB (12 / 4 / 54 / 0 rec)
Despite being targeted a team high 12 times, Johnson was only able to haul in four passes. He dropped his first target of the game on a short, third down pass that would have given Detroit a first down, and his second target was picked off by S Atari Bigby. Johnson's first grab came with just over 12 minutes left in the second quarter and went for a gain of five yards. His next catch came on a third and six play with the Lions operating from their own ten yard line. On the play, Johnson made a nice leaping catch on an under thrown ball that went for a gain of 32 yards. His only other long catch came in the third quarter and went for a gain of 18 yards on a third and 18 play. The rookie wide out was targeted numerous times in the end zone on deep passes, but all of those throws fell incomplete.