WR Steve Johnson - Free Agent
|6-1, 210||Born: 7-22-1986||College: Kentucky||Drafted: Round 7, pick 2008|
2015 Week 1 vs DET (6 / 6 / 82 / 1 rec)
As the summer went along, Johnson became a very popular sleeper choice amongst fantasy owners. In his first action with his new team, he rewarded those who took a chance on him. He was the clear number two option to Keenan Allen, and caught every single pass thrown his way. He was looked to in all kinds of critical situations (third down, red zone, etc). Johnson found the end zone on a crossing route out of the slot. He juggled the ball a bit, then lunged into the end zone for the score. Later in the game, Johnson again came very close to finding the end zone. He took a quick look down to the goal line, and Danny Woodhead converted for a touchdown later in the drive.
2015 Week 2 vs CIN (6 / 5 / 45 / 1 rec)
Johnson showed tremendous skills in the game, and found the end zone once again as he is paying big dividends for fantasy owners who believed in his sleeper status coming into the season. He made a full extension diving grab in the second half, demonstrating excellent body control to pick up a first down in the process. And late in the game, he made a few nifty moves after the catch while reading his blocks en route to the end zone. That score was significant in that it pushed Philip Rivers above Dan Fouts on the team's all-time passing touchdown list.
2015 Week 3 vs MIN (5 / 3 / 46 / 0 rec)
After breaking out with strong performances in the first two games of the season, Johnson took a deep back seat in this one. He was out-targeted by Malcom Floyd, and actually made two very bad plays that he'd like to have back. On his first reception, he caught the ball beyond the first down marker. But while trying to gain more yards after the catch, he ran backwards several yards and was tripped up behind the line to gain which set up a third down (the team converted anyway). Later in the agme, Philip Rivers hit Johnson right in the hands on a crossing route but the ball bounced off his hands and into the waiting arms of a defender where it was returned for a touchdown. Johnson did have a nice 30-yard catch and run on a designed screen pass to salvage something of his day.
2015 Week 4 vs CLE (8 / 4 / 32 / 0 rec)
Johnson was busy early on, leading the team in targets for the game. But his afternoon ended a bit prematurely when he came up limping after running a route. He was untouched on the play, and appeared to be grabbing at his hamstring as he left the field with a slight limp. There was no immediate status on Johnson after the game, but backup Dontrelle Inman filled in and didn't miss a beat, hauling in three passes for 88 yards.
2015 Week 7 vs OAK (8 / 4 / 50 / 0 rec)
After missing the last several games with a hamstring injury, Johnson returned to the lineup for San Diego. He didn't record his first reception of the game until late in the first half, getting loose down the field near the sideline. The defender was very close to picking it off, so it was a nice job by Johnson to maintain concentration of the pass. In the second half, he was a little bit busier. But despite Philip Rivers hoisting up an astounding 58 passes, only eight of them went in Johnson's direction. A huge volume of passes went to the running backs (17 targets), as San Diego had a tough time moving it down the field before the fourth quarter when Oakland really softened up the defense.
2015 Week 8 vs BAL (4 / 2 / 28 / 0 rec)
Johnson was one of many Chargers to get banged up in this game. His first reception came early on when he went up high to make a grab. There was nobody around him, so he took off and turned upfield for a 23-yard gain. But at the end of the play, he was tackled awkwardly and landed hard on his shoulder. Johnson left the game with his shoulder hanging at his side in pain, but he did return to the game late in the first half. Despite Keenan Allen leaving the game with an injury at halftime, Johnson didn't do much with the added opportunity. Instead, it was Malcom Floyd who saw the extra passes heading his way late in the game, and took advantage.
2015 Week 9 vs CHI (10 / 7 / 68 / 0 rec)
Johnson was one of three Chargers to see 10+ targets in the game, as he has sort of absorbed the number one wide receiver role following injuries to Keenan Allen last week and Malcom Floyd in this game. Nearly all of Johnson's targets were short and intermediate routes and a majority of them were over the middle, suggesting he may fill more of Allen's role than that of Floyd. He did come close to scoring on one play late, but was tripped by his shoestring by a defender at the 5-yard line. Upon getting up, he angrily spiked the ball into the turf seemingly out of frustration over not being able to score. The officials whistled him for a delay of game penalty, which pushed San Diego back and eventually out of touchdown range.
2015 Week 11 vs KC (8 / 7 / 54 / 0 rec)
Johnson was the team's leading receiver in the game, but it was a bit like being the tallest midget. He was never able to gain separation down the field, and his longest catch went for just 13 yards. His first catch came early in the second quarter, and he had semi-regular work from that point forward, but it was all short and intermediate work (mostly in front of the first down markers).
2015 Week 12 vs JAX (10 / 7 / 92 / 1 rec)
Johnson had a pretty rough start to this game, dropping a wide open slant pattern on third and 8 with nothing in front of him but the first down marker. Later in the first half, he made a nice 19-yard catch and run but lost much of the yardage when he was whistled for an unsportsmanlike penalty after the play was over. In fairness, it appeared his ankle was twisted after the play, but it still negated the gain. He was then targeted in the end zone, but good coverage on the ball knocked it away at the last second. Things improved greatly for Johnson in the second half. He broke loose from his coverage to pick up 25 yards to convert a third and 12 pass play after Jacksonville defenders appeared to get confused about who was covering who. And later in the half, he went up high to snag a touchdown along the back line of the end zone. He was pushed to the ground almost immediately by the defender, but he did a nice job of keeping his feet inbounds and also holding onto the pass after the hit. That score essentially put the game out of reach for the Jaguars. He wasn't true "number one" option where he was looked to in all of the critical situations, but the sheer volume of targets he saw meant his stat line looked very healthy by game's end.
2015 Week 13 vs DEN (0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
On a day that the Chargers trailed throughout and saw Philip Rivers throw 35 pass attempts (not to mention fellow wideout Dontrelle Inman leaving very early on with a serious injury), Johnson wasn't targeted once in the game because he left with a groin injury. The Chargers are down to the bottom of the barrel at wide receiver.
2014 Week 1 vs DAL (2 / 2 / 33 / 0 rec)
Johnson's first catch as a 49ers came with him wide open on a deep hitch for a 21 yard gain. He also beat the defense on another short hitch later in the game, but like Crabtree he was well behind Boldin and Vernon Davis in the pecking order.
2014 Week 2 vs CHI (4 / 2 / 26 / 0 rec)
Johnson's 20 yard reception came on a slant route where Kaepernick threaded the needle past a diving corner. It was a good route, but an even better throw.
2014 Week 3 vs ARI (9 / 9 / 103 / 0 rec)
Johnson was the key to the 49ers game plan early and had his best day in San Francisco. He hauled in a couple of passes behind him on the team's first drive and consistently found himself open underneath the Cardinals coverage. Another of those short receptions converted a 4th down in the second quarter. Johnson's biggest play of the day came on a flare route that was nearly a pick play. Johnson found himself all alone and sprinted up the left sideline for a 32 yard gain. Johnson's route running was brilliant in this one and his timing with Kaepernick was evident.
2014 Week 4 vs PHI (2 / 1 / 12 / 1 rec)
Johnson had a 17 yard reception wiped away by a phantom pass interference call but more than made up for it later. His 12 yard touchdown involved a great hands catch on a bullet from Kaepernick and some outstanding footwork to get two feet in bounds. He also had a drop on a short cross that was thrown behind him.
2014 Week 6 vs STL (6 / 5 / 53 / 0 rec)
Johnson picked up 13 yards on a slant on the 49ers first drive but didn't see another target until the third quarter. He was used extensively in the third quarter on short routes, and broke a tackle in flats for a nine yard gain on one of those targets. His 20 yard reception came on a good hands catch on a high pass over the middle from Kaepernick. Johnson left the game in the 4th quarter after being injured recovering an onside kick. He was able to leave under his own power.
2014 Week 7 vs DEN (7 / 5 / 79 / 1 rec)
On a day when several of the receivers were inconsistent, Johnson was pretty outstanding. On his first catch he beat corner on a post then broke a tackle to turn it into a 31 yard gain. He had a 16 yard gain to start the next drive, and finished the drive as well. His 25 yard reception was a sliding catch at the 4 yard line on a bullet from Kaepernick. On the next play he sprinted across the back of the end zone and Kaepernick found him for the score. Johnson was by far the most reliable option and also made a couple of outstanding plays.
2014 Week 9 vs STL (5 / 3 / 41 / 0 rec)
Johnson didn't see a catch until the second half, but was really good when they threw him the ball. On his first catch he caught a short cross and fought through a defender for an 11 yard gain and a first down. On the first play of the final drive, Johnson caught a short hitch and spun out of tackle before racing up the field for a 25 yard gain. He also made a really nice hands catch to pick up 5 yards later in the drive. As efficient as he's been it wouldn't be a surprise to see him get an increase in targets.
2014 Week 10 vs NO (3 / 3 / 43 / 0 rec)
Johnson's 20 yard reception came on a broken play of sorts. With Kaepernick scrambling Johnson did an excellent job of keeping his route alive and worked his way wide open on the left sideline for a big gain.
2014 Week 11 vs NYG (1 / 1 / 8 / 0 rec)
Johnson's only target came on a short out that he caught for an 8 yard gain on the sideline. He was not a big part of the game plan.
2014 Week 13 vs SEA (6 / 3 / 28 / 0 rec)
Johnson made a couple of really nice hands catches in heavy traffic, including one on the sideline that was a sure interception if he hadn't snagged the ball from the defender. Johnson seemed to get a little more separation with his unique route running but still didn't see a lot of targets.
2013 Week 1 vs NE (6 / 3 / 39 / 1 rec)
Johnson was tied for the lead in targets with six, but only caught three for 39 yards with a long of 18 on his TD catch. Working exclusively from the slot, Johnson's first catch came on a shallow crosser on the Bills 2nd drive. Johnson ran free on the play and Manuel made the easy completion for a 12-yard gain. Johnson's biggest play came on his next catch, as he ran a vertical and split the double coverage. Manuel threw a perfect touch pass and Johnson was able to run beneath the throw for the 18-yard TD catch. Riding high, Johnson was quickly brought back to earth on perhaps the most important play of the game for the Bills. With Buffalo up one and facing a 3rd and short, Johnson ran a quick out from the slot. Manuel's throw was a bit low, but the ball was more than catchable. Johnson couldn't make the catch; the Bills were forced to punt and missed a huge opportunity to not only burn some more clock, but possibly put more points on the board.
2013 Week 2 vs CAR (10 / 8 / 111 / 1 rec)
Maybe it was the Carolina pass defense, maybe it was the budding chemistry between QB and WR or perhaps a little of both. Whatever it was, Johnson had one of his better games in recent memory. He led the team in every receiving category including eight catches on 10 targets with a long of 45 yards. Johnson consistently got open, working almost exclusively from the slot (the one play he moved outside Manuel threw an INT) and Carolina just never had an answer for him. Johnson's first catch came on the 3rd drive as he worked the seam. Running right past the coverage, Manuel dropped a nice pass in-between the coverage and Johnson was able to make the relatively easy catch. Johnson continued to kill Carolina in the slot as his long set up the offense's first TD of the game. Clearly a mismatch, Johnson was able to get LB Jon Beason in coverage and he had no problem shaking the talented LB. Once Johnson was inside the coverage and made the catch, it was merely a matter of running away from the Beason. Johnson just barely missed a TD earlier in the game. Running a fade, Manuel threw a pretty ball to the back corner and Johnson was able to get his hands on the toss, but safety Charles Godfrey was able to get his hand between Johnson's body and the ball, ripping the ball out as they fell to the turf. The final drive was, of course, Johnson's best. After opening with a seven-yard catch, Johnson picked up 11 more yards three plays later on a quick out. Two plays later it was Johnson down the middle that drew the pass interference call on Kuechly over the middle. The following play was way too easy given the circumstance as Johnson lined up to Manuel's left in the slot. When Chris Hogan ran beneath Johnson on the cross, the two DBs didn't communicate correctly and Johnson was left all alone in the back corner of the end zone for the game winning touchdown. Thankfully, this time he held on.
2013 Week 3 vs NYJ (13 / 6 / 86 / 0 rec)
For the third week in a row Johnson led all Bills receivers in targets, catches and yards and converted a two-point conversion to briefly tie the game in the 4th quarter. It took some time on Sunday as Johnson's first catch didn't come until the final Bills drive just before halftime. Running a quick slant, Johnson was blasted on the nine-yard gain but did a tremendous job holding on to the throw. Johnson backed that catch up on the very next play with another short gain on a quick out for five yards. Johnson just missed what may have been TD on the Bills third drive out of halftime, just after Kiko Alonso's INT that took Buffalo inside the Jets 15-yard line. Matched up against Antonio Cromartie, Johnson went to the quick slant and received no resistance from Cromartie. As he laid out for the pass LB DeMario Davis was able to get a finger on the throw and deflect the throw behind the diving Johnson. Johnson's longest play of the day came on his next catch as he worked from the slot. Johnson worked his way out before cutting up the field and Manuel was able to deliver a perfect throw just behind the coverage. Johnson did a nice job of barely getting two feet in, picking up 23 yards on the play. Johnson's biggest contribution came on the following drive, however, as he was able to catch three passes and draw multiple penalties on CB Kyle Wilson. Johnson made a nice diving catch over the middle on what should have been a much easier throw from Manuel for 14 yards. Johnson and Wilson got into it the following play, with each drawing offsetting penalties. Johnson's was especially dumb as it took an automatic 1st down away from Buffalo. It is hard not to think these types of antics won't get on Marrone's nerves if they continue to the hurt the offense. Johnson drew another pass interference penalty on Wilson on the very next play before catching another 14-yard pass on a hitch. On the same play, Johnson drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Wilson and moved Buffalo into Jets territory. After the Chandler TD, Johnson lined up in the slot on the two-point attempt and attacked the coverage just off the line of scrimmage. He gave the defender a Stevie shake before angling inside and made a nice catch on the high throw from Manuel. Johnson caught one more ball, a 20-yard completion down the seam just as he got between the coverage.
2013 Week 4 vs BAL (6 / 1 / -1 / 0 rec)
Registering only one catch for a loss of a yard against Baltimore, this was not Stevie Johnson's finest showing. An early drop of a short pass seemed to set the tone for what would be a quiet day. Well covered by Baltimore's cornerback tandem, Johnson's role was limited by the Bills' emphasis on the ground attack, which continued to churn out yards. Johnson was mainly responsible for an EJ Manuel interception in the third quarter, allowing the football to hit his hands and fly into the air for a linebacker to pick off. With defenders in the vicinity, Manuel had to zip the football in to Johnson. Throughout the game Manuel continued to look Johnson's way, but good coverage often forced him to his second and third reads.
2013 Week 5 vs CLE (3 / 2 / 19 / 0 rec)
After Johnson had one catch for -1 yards in Week 4, the Bills were clear in their intentions with Johnson early on. TJ Graham ran an end around on the first play of the game and immediately targeted Johnson who was running a corner route in the end zone. Johnson very nearly came up with the one-handed catch, but ultimately drew a defensive pass interference call on Joe Haden in the end zone. After setting up the first touchdown, Manuel went right back to Johnson on the 2nd drive, targeting him on four straight passes. Johnson's long came on the back end of the target barrage, picking up 13 yards on the slant. With Joe Haden lined up across from him in the slot, Johnson gave a slight hesitation before easily getting inside the coverage for the catch. It's not quite clear how he was hurt and when, but Johnson immediately went to the sideline after the catch and only played one more snap before exiting the game permanently. He appeared to be in pretty severe pain on the sideline prior to heading to the locker room, but Coach Marrone suggested post-game he would be back for Week 6.
2013 Week 7 vs MIA (13 / 6 / 61 / 0 rec)
Johnson's position in the slot and short, quick routes clearly fit the Buffalo passing game plan on Sunday. Johnson led all receivers in every statistical category, including 13 targets (next closest receiver had four). Johnson didn't make his first catch until the third drive as he picked up 13 yards on a quick out. A much shorter throw, Johnson was able to slip the initial tackle and turn the short toss into a 1st down. Two drives later, Johnson made a nice diving 10-yard catch as he was forced to lay out on a quick slant. Looking very much like his first catch, Johnson again caught a short out on 3rd down and nearly turned it into a 1st down. Breaking the initial tackle, Johnson laid out for the 1st down marker and appeared to reach it but the official ruled he had stepped out prior to extending. Johnson did all the work again on his next catch, willing his way to the marker to ensure the drive continued. On the same drive, Johnson came up big again on 3rd down as he picked up 17 yards on a dig. Later on the same drive, Johnson was targeted in the end zone but couldn't break the grasp of the defender as the pass sailed out the back of the end zone.
2013 Week 8 vs NO (11 / 7 / 72 / 1 rec)
Johnson tied for the team lead in every receiving category on Sunday, despite playing the final 2.5 quarters on an obviously hurting groin. Invisible for the first four drives, the Bills were intent on getting Johnson involved in the offense. Running a quick slant, Johnson opened the fifth drive with a nice 17-yard catch. Johnson made another tough catch the next play, catching the high throw on the bubble screen, but couldn't do much with it and lost three yards on the play. Johnson picked up 15 yards on the next play as he sat down in a hole in the coverage and Lewis did a nice job finding him over the middle. With the Bills moving into the red zone, Johnson did his best on his next catch. Working from the slot, Johnson easily got off the line of scrimmage and immediately worked up the field. Lewis had to go high with the throw, but Johnson made a great adjustment and an even better finish to complete the throw. Forced to open his hips, turn his back on the collapsing safety and elevate; Johnson snatched the throw out of the air but couldn't bring the catch into his body to shield it before safety Kenny Vaccaro dropped the hammer. Not always possessing the best of hands, Johnson showed both incredible concentration and hand strength to maintain possession for the 13-yard touchdown catch. The following drive, Johnson appeared to injure his groin as the Bills broke the huddle and he immediately hobbled off the field in pain. Johnson sporadically returned to the field, but it was evident he was struggling with an injury as he constantly limped and struggled to gain initial separation from the coverage. Nearly a quarter passed before Johnson registered another catch, picking up seven yards on a curl. Two more catches on two more targets rounded out Johnson's day, but it's hard not to imagine what could have been had he not been hampered by the injury.
2013 Week 9 vs KC (7 / 5 / 36 / 0 rec, 1 / 10 / 0 rush)
Johnson showed no ill effects of the hip flexor that had him hobbled in Week 8 as he led the team in catches with five. Johnson struggled to get much going in the 1st half, only registering two catches for six yards on two shallow crossers and one "rush" for 10 yards on a rather neat option play for Tuel. Tuel kept on the read option and ultimately "tossed" (it was a backwards pass) it to Johnson. The eclectic wide receiver really should have had a TD on the opening drive of the 2nd half, but Tuel never even looked Johnson's way. Johnson completely destroyed Smith on with a quick shimmy at the line of scrimmage and was all alone in the end zone as Smith stumbled right into Graham's route. Tuel never took his eyes off Graham on the slant, however, and Johnson could only watch as Smith took the INT 99 yards the other way. Johnson's long came on the final drive as he showed the same strong hands he had the week prior. Running a quick out and forced to extend for Tuel's floating throw, Johnson snatched the pass with his fingertips for a 13-yard gain.
2013 Week 10 vs PIT (10 / 3 / 48 / 0 rec)
The return of Manuel meant the return to heavy targets for Johnson, but unfortunately his team-high 10 targets only resulted in three catches. Johnson's first target came from the Steeler one-yard line, but unfortunately was unsuccessful as Manuel rushed the fade. Johnson was able to create the necessary separation, but the throw was both too early and too deep to the corner and Johnson had little shot to haul the pass in. Johnson's longest catch came on the fourth drive, with the WR turning the short throw into the Bills longest play of the day. Johnson ran a curl and upon making the catch, quickly spun out of the attempted arm tackle and picked up 13 more yards on the move. Later Johnson picked up another 20 yards as Manuel threw one of his only on time and accurate throws off a play action fake. The following drive, Manuel and Johnson just missed another big play, but again were foiled by the quarterback's rushing the fade throw. Johnson was able to manipulate the coverage but had no shot with the throwing coming out so soon. The missed opportunity proved doubly crushing, as Johnson appeared to tweak his groin on the play and after one more target was forced out of the game with an injury. Seemingly always open, Johnson's production was severely limited by Manuel's rust and missed out on what could have been a much bigger day.
2013 Week 13 vs ATL (8 / 5 / 55 / 0 rec)
Johnson led all pass catchers in targets and catches on Sunday, but also had an incredibly costly fumble on the Bills final drive of regulation. Successfully working the slot, Johnson's first, and longest, catch came on a shallow crosser on the Bills second drive. Tough for any DB to handle, Johnson easily got inside the coverage and Manuel softly floated the pass to the WR allowing him to turn the short toss into 15 yards. Johnson again got inside the coverage on his next two catches, using quick slants to pick up seven and six yards, respectively. Matching his first catch, Johnson picked up 15 yards just out of halftime on another quick hitter from the slot. Not registering any catches until the final drive, Johnson still made a massive impact on the game as he sealed his block and allowed Spiller to spring free on his TD run. Johnson's final catch looked just like his first, but had disastrous results. Another soft toss from Manuel, Johnson secured the catch but as Robert McClain went to wrap the WR up his right arm popped the ball loose and the Falcons recovered. Had Johnson been able to hold on, the Bills would have moved well into Dan Carpenter's range for a game-winning try.
2013 Week 14 vs TB (11 / 5 / 67 / 0 rec)
Johnson led the team in every receiving category with 5 catches on 11 targets including a game high 31-yard catch just out of halftime. Working mostly shorter routes early on, Johnson opened the 2nd half working a deeper route down the middle of the field. Manuel's throw was high, but Johnson elevated and made a tremendous catch as Mason Foster and Dashon Goldson smashed into him on both sides. With both defenders falling down, Johnson was able to keep his feet and continue up field. It appeared Johnson had plenty of open space to work with, but unfortunately couldn't avoid running into his own teammate in Scott Chandler and ultimately killed the possibility of a much bigger play. Sunday wasn't without struggles, though, for Johnson as he dropped two catchable balls including one that ended up being an INT. Working the shallow middle, Johnson flashed across Manuel's face and the QB delivered a catchable ball. Johnson got his hands up in time, but only to deflect the pass high into the air and Lavonte David made the easy INT.
2013 Week 15 vs JAX (3 / 1 / 4 / 0 rec)
Johnson lost his mother on Saturday night and it's hard to not think it contributed to his lack of statistical production. His lone catch only amassed four yards, whilst he dropped one other catch and there appeared to be a lack of communication on his other target as he wasn't out of his break soon enough to make the catch. Johnson did help spring Jackson on his long run, however, as his block allowed Jackson to get wide and pick up another huge chunk of yards.
2012 Week 1 vs NYJ (10 / 4 / 55 / 1 rec)
Johnson's playing status was slightly in doubt leading up to the game as he missed practice time with a groin injury. He was healthy enough to start and play the entire game, but had difficulty making much happen while mostly matched up with All Pro corner Darrelle Revis. Johnson was clearly the go-to player for Ryan Fitzpatrick and led all players in the game with 10 targets, but only managed to bring in 4 of them for 55 yards. An early pass intended for Johnson was picked off by Revis, but he did salvage a decent fantasy day with a touchdown that came late in the game that pulled the Bills to within 13 points with 6 minutes to go.
2012 Week 2 vs KC (5 / 2 / 56 / 1 rec)
It was looking like a very quiet day for Johnson this week as he only posted 1 catch on 3 targets for 7 yards in the first half. Midway through the 3rd quarter, however, Fitzpatrick found him on a short crossing pattern that he took the distance for a 49-yard touchdown, outrunning star safety Eric Berry in the process. That was one of the biggest plays of the day and helped put the game out of reach.
2012 Week 3 vs CLE (11 / 7 / 61 / 1 rec)
The Bills built a quick 14-0 lead in this game, which seemed to help open things up a bit in the passing game. Steve Johnson took advantage and finished with another productive outing, including his third straight game with a touchdown. He had little difficulty gaining separation against the Browns corners and provided a reliable outlet for Ryan Fitzpatrick throughout the game. Johnson led all players in the game with 7 catches, 11 targets, and 61 receiving yards and made a beautiful move to get open for an easy 9-yard touchdown catch in the 4th quarter that seemed to put the game out of reach.
2012 Week 4 vs NE (10 / 2 / 23 / 0 rec)
His first reception came on an out route beating Devin McCourty. Johnson got good separation and the throw from Fitzpatrick was perfectly timed and accurate. Outside of that target, he didn't see the ball again until the fourth quarter. Johnson dropped that pass as he looked to turn and run on a curl route before completing the catch. Johnson did catch one deep ball that Fitzpatrick threw too close to the sideline, so it was incomplete.
2012 Week 5 vs SF (10 / 6 / 39 / 0 rec)
A frustrating game for Johnson throughout, as even when the receiver was able to beat coverage, Fitzpatrick missed him. Once in the first half, Johnson had beaten his man down the sideline and an accurate throw would have resulted in a touchdown. Johnson was targeted often, but none of his catches were downfield and he struggled to get away from the defense after the catch.
2012 Week 6 vs ARI (11 / 6 / 82 / 0 rec)
Johnson again led the Bills' in targets on Sunday with 11, catching six despite being matched up against one of the league's premier corners in Patrick Peterson. Johnson was consistently open, with the only deterrent to more catches being Fitzpatrick's inability to accurately locate him. Johnson easily worked the out on a slacking Wilson for an important 3rd down conversion on Buffalo's first TD drive. Johnson would be targeted on back-to-back throws on the same drive, connecting on the 2nd of the two and putting the Bills in a goal-to-go scenario. Johnson showed some impressive shake on his next catch, bringing in an eight-yard hitch before spinning around a closing Peterson to pick up eight more yards. Johnson's longest catch helped kick start the Bills' 2nd TD drive, another quick slant that saw the coverage collapse on the out leaving Johnson to pick up 23 yards on the inside. Normally a precise and patient route runner, Johnson flashed some physicality too. With Peterson locked up in man, Johnson ran a comeback and created the necessary separation with a nice swim move, leaving Peterson to recollect himself while Johnson picked up 16 yards. Johnson had his best game (yardage-wise) of the season, collecting more than half of Fitzpatrick's passing yards. Johnson was unable to get into the end zone for a 3rd consecutive week, but only three total Buffalo plays in the red zone severely limited his opportunities.
2012 Week 7 vs TEN (7 / 5 / 71 / 1 rec)
Johnson led the Bills in receiving yards on Sunday, led all WRs in catches and was 2nd on the team in targets. On the opening drive Johnson made a spectacular catch, running a 12-yard out, Fitzpatrick delivered a rather erratic pass and Johnson needed a leaping, full body extension all the while getting two feet in bounds to complete the catch. Just before halftime, Johnson made another tremendous catch, this time picking up 19 yards and drawing a 15-yard penalty. Running a deep in, the high pass forced Johnson to elevate in front of hard-hitting safety Michael Griffin. Griffin delivered a blow, but Johnson did a tremendous job securing the catch and absorbing the shot for the completion. Later, facing single coverage from CB Jason McCourty, Johnson had McCourty doing circles leaving him wide open on the post. Fitzpatrick accurately delivered the throw right on time, making for an easy 27-yard TD catch. Despite being the only established playmaker on the outside, Johnson consistently got open on quick slants and outs. It was Johnson who Fitzpatrick should have hit on the lone INT, working the out from the slot and finding plenty of space but not getting the target.
2012 Week 9 vs HOU (7 / 3 / 29 / 0 rec)
After receiving three early targets, and catching all three, Johnson did not register another catch. Easily winning routes like he does every week, Johnson worked inside for all three catches, the first going for 14 yards (his long on the day). Johnson's third catch may have been why he struggled after his early catches, taking a helmet directly on his thigh that had him limping badly to get off the field. Never one to stay out long, Johnson was promptly back in the game, but he didn't seem right. Johnson was largely ignored in the passing game, not picking up another target until the 2nd half. A failed staple of 2011/early 2012 passing attack, Fitzpatrick overshot the streaking Johnson by five yards on the Bills first drive out of halftime. Johnson's next target again came on a slant, a crucial 3rd and short, and despite an on target throw from Fitzpatrick, Johnson inexplicably dropped the catch. Only down one score at the time, the drop forced the Bills to settle for a 3rd FG. Fitzpatrick again tried to hit Johnson streaking down the sideline for his final target, nearly throwing an INT to the safety playing over the top. It was a disappointing day for Johnson, but it appeared to be more from injury than anything else.
2012 Week 10 vs NE (9 / 6 / 86 / 0 rec)
Second on the team in targets with nine targets, Johnson for the team lead in catches with six and had a team high 86 yards receiving. Johnson showed no ill effects of his thigh bruise from the week prior, easily working the Patriot DBs and just missing a TD on the Bills' final scoring drive. After catching a short hook route on the Bills opening drive for a quick seven yards, Johnson didn't register another target until the Bills final drive of the first half. Johnson picked up 13 on the curl before being badly overthrown by Fitzpatrick as he raced down the sideline. Johnson just missed a TD later in the drive as he was sitting in the back of the end zone. Fitzpatrick had broken the pocket and tried to hit the camping Johnson. The throw was high, forcing Johnson to elevate and McCourty did a nice job forcing Johnson out before he could get his 2nd toe down. Johnson's best catch came on his next target as he ran a deep in. Johnson broke the route inside and the low throw forced him to completely lay out with full extension for 19 yards. Johnson picked up a pivotal 4th down on his next catch, easily winning the out for 13 yards. Johnson again just missed a TD the very next play, catching the out and turning up field before getting dragged down at the two-yard line. Johnson's long (and final) catch came on the Bills' final drive, picking up the 3rd and long with a 21-yard deep out. For whatever reason, Johnson did not get another look on the drive, with Fitzpatrick looking to Jones, Chandler and Graham instead.
2012 Week 11 vs MIA (9 / 6 / 79 / 0 rec)
After taking a back seat to fellow WR the week prior, Johnson was the passing offense, leading the Bills' passing offense in every receiving category on Thursday night. Getting a full complement of targets in nine, Johnson was able to catch six for 79 yards. Easily one of the league's best route runners, Johnson had his way with the Dolphin's defensive backfield. Johnson first catch came on 3rd down, picking up 15 yards on the deep in. Johnson had his longest catch the very next play, planting a vicious swim move on Sean Smith to create the necessary space for the 16-yard comeback. Johnson picked up an easy 12 yards on his next catch, opening up on the snap and catching the quick strike as the coverage was sitting 10 yards off the line. Johnson just missed a TD on his next catch, another back shoulder throw. Johnson did a nice job using his body to box Smith out, but couldn't break the tackle four yards short of the end zone. Fitzpatrick went back to Johnson in the end zone two plays later, but a poor throw and an interfering Smith prevented the connection. Johnson showed some rare frustration on the play, clearly upset and demonstratively calling for the flag. Johnson utilized the swim move more one time in the 2nd half, picking up nine yards before picking up 13 on his final catch of the night on another back shoulder throw.
2012 Week 12 vs IND (15 / 6 / 106 / 0 rec)
Johnson was the passing offense on Sunday, leading the team with six catches on a staggering 15 targets. Johnson was responsible for 63% of the Bills passing yards, including a 63-yard catch on a beautiful double move that just missed being a TD. Clearly understanding the Bills' tendencies, the Colts' DBs were quick to jump the short routes, allowing Johnson to easily shake CB Darius Butler on the long strike. Johnson faked the stop and Butler jumped all over the route, allowing Johnson to easily get behind the coverage. Having missed a few open deep receivers already, Fitzpatrick made sure to connect with Johnson slightly underthrowing the route. Johnson had to slow, which allowed Butler to make up ground and the safety help to respond as well. After the long gain, Johnson received two more targets on consecutive plays in the red zone, but a miscommunication and solid coverage spoiled both forcing the FG. Of the Bills four 3rd down conversions, Johnson was on the receiving end of two of them, including a 14-yard strike on a quick slant on the lone TD drive. Fitzpatrick did a nice job looking off the coverage, allowing Johnson to get inside the DB and the ball was placed perfectly. Johnson's best play, however, was not a catch at all. Having just converted a third down on the Bills' final drive, it was Johnson who single-handedly made amends for the Fitzpatrick INT on the drive. Johnson chased Zbikowski down, latching on and as he was making the tackle, not only punched the ball free, but also managed to recover the fumble too. It was a tremendous effort play from Johnson, putting the Bills back into position to tie the game.
2012 Week 13 vs JAX (5 / 2 / 18 / 1 rec)
Johnson led the team with five targets, but only had two catches for 18 yards before leaving with a hamstring injury. Johnson's first catch was a short five-yard quick screen, intended to get the WR involved (and it would appear to limit Fitzpatrick's downfield throws). Johnson's second catch, on an out, went for 13 yards and a TD. Like every other pass catcher, Johnson's opportunities were severely limited by game script.
2012 Week 14 vs STL (8 / 6 / 71 / 0 rec)
Just as he has done in nearly every game this season, Johnson led the Bills in every receiving category, including six catches on eight targets. Johnson had the Bills longest play of the day, a 34-yard catch down the sideline. Johnson was blanketed by the coverage, but made a nice adjustment as Cortland Finnegan never turned around to play the ball and Fitzpatrick went back shoulder for the completion. Johnson just missed a TD on the Bills' opening drive of the 2nd half. Johnson caught the middle screen at the Rams' nine-yard line and broke the initial tackle, getting all the way to the one before he was finally dragged down. Johnson was hampered all week with a hamstring injury and it did appear his cuts on his routes were not as sharp at times, especially on a quick slant late in the game. Johnson and Fitzpatrick rarely miss a connection on the short slants, but it appeared Fitzpatrick expected Johnson to be further along in his route as Johnson was not quite out of his break and was not expecting the ball as it zipped by.
2012 Week 15 vs SEA (12 / 8 / 115 / 1 rec)
Johnson led all Bills every in receiving category, picking up 12 targets and eight catches, including one TD. In what has typically been a tough matchup for most WRs, Johnson consistently beat Seattle's best corner Richard Sherman. After taking advantage of his sagging coverage on his first catch, Johnson easily worked Sherman again on his next catch, picking up 17 yards on a slant. Johnson's next route was even prettier, completely turning Sherman around on a deep corner route resulting in a 20-yard TD catch. Johnson went right back to the corner route to kick off the next drive, as the result was almost identical, picking up 24 yards on the play. Johnson's best play, however, came on his next catch. Facing a 3rd and long, Johnson ran a deep post on the play. Fitzpatrick's throw was high (when is it not?) and behind Johnson, forcing the WR leave his feet and open up to make a play on the ball. Johnson reached up with only his right hand and snatched the pass out of the air for the 25-yard gain. Johnson just missed another long play two drives later as the Bills went play action. Johnson again beat the coverage, but Fitzpatrick's awful deep ball accuracy had the ball sailing well over Johnson's head.
2012 Week 16 vs MIA (10 / 4 / 44 / 0 rec)
As previously mentioned, Johnson had perhaps his worst game as a Bill since the famed blaming of God via Twitter in 2010. Johnson's first catch looked just like so many others, a perfectly ran/timed quick slant, but a well timed hit jarred the ball loose for the fumble. His next target was almost as bad, as he dropped a wide-open and relatively (no defender in range) easy catch. Victim to an awful rule, Johnson's day went from bad to worse, as his next target should have been a 23-yard TD catch. Johnson beat the coverage and ran under a perfectly thrown ball, but after extending his arms on the play to break the plane of the end zone, couldn't avoid the one of the dumbest rules in the NFL (especially to fantasy footballers). Arms, and consequently ball, extended, Johnson ran through the goal line. However, as he went to the ground, and used his arms to break his fall, the ball came loose and the play was ruled incomplete. Not only the frustration of the moment, but considering how many missed opportunities the duo have had throughout the season on the same play clearly affected Johnson the rest of the game. Johnson didn't receive another target until the 4th quarter and clearly the frustration remained. Nowhere near a completion, Johnson angrily tossed the ball down field and picked up a five-yard delay of game penalty. Often living under the moniker "handle biz have fun", Johnson was doing neither as he released a rare burst of emotion on the lead official, even needing Spiller to step in and calm Johnson. Johnson picked up his first catch since the 1st quarter fumble two plays later, but it was too little too late. Two more catches the following drive rounded out Johnson's day, but it was little to remedy what had been an already too rough day for the WR.
2012 Week 17 vs NYJ (9 / 6 / 111 / 0 rec)
Clearly looking to atone for his poor showing the week prior, Johnson showed up tremendously on Sunday. Johnson led the team in targets with nine, catching six for 111 yards with a long of 37. Of Fitzpatrick's three completions (yes, three) in the 1st half, Johnson caught two of them, including a 29-yard catch just before halftime. Johnson did his best work in the 2nd half, however. After picking up 19-yards on a dig early in the half, Johnson (despite being his shortest catch on the day) made a tremendous grab on his next catch. Running a quick out, Johnson was wide-open and had the first down marker in mind. Fitzpatrick's throw was well wide, however, and forced Johnson to leave his feet. Stabbing at the errant throw with one hand, Johnson was able to pull the toss in. Johnson made another great catch on his next target, picking up 37 yards on the play. Fitzpatrick threw the ball up for grabs and Johnson was able to high point the ball, and despite CB Darrin Walls being all over him, haul the catch in. Johnson's final catch was another pretty grab, as he was forced to elevate and fully extend on the high throw from Fitzpatrick. The catch came on 3rd down, extending the Bills' final drive, allowing them to put the final nail in the New York coffin. Also worth noting, Johnson had his 3rd consecutive 1,0000 yard season, the first Buffalo WR to ever accomplish the feat.
2011 Week 1 vs KC (6 / 4 / 66 / 1 rec)
Johnson made the play of the day on a 27 yard lob by Fitzpatrick in the endzone. Johnson completely outjumped the secondary, showing great hops and solid hands in his grab over the defenders. He is clearly the fastest and most complete WR on the team, and his hands and leaping ability make him a redzone weapon too. Just like Fitzpatrick, Johnson is showing that his 2010 season was no fluke. He had catches over the middle, he is a deep ball threat and he had a solid game despite the fact that the Bills didn't even need to pass much in the 2nd half.
2011 Week 2 vs OAK (14 / 8 / 96 / 1 rec)
Like the rest of the offense, Johnson had a bit of a rough start to the game as he caught just 2 of 6 targets in the first half and one of those was easily intercepted by the Raiders. With the Bills trailing big in the second half, however, Johnson started to take over. In addition to his 8 receptions and game-high 14 targets, Johnson also drew a couple of important big pass interference calls. Johnson did most of his damage on short and intermediate routes so his yards per catch wasn't high but he certainly stood out as one of the best players on the field. He was often the first target for Fitzpatrick and picked up a 7-yard touchdown on a short pass over the middle that came on 3rd down. He left some plays on the field but had a pretty strong performance and was a key component in the Bills comeback victory.
2011 Week 3 vs NE (10 / 8 / 94 / 1 rec)
Johnson had another strong game this week in a big win over the division rival Patriots. He kicked things off with a nice 33-yard gain down the left sideline on the first play from scrimmage when he got behind Leigh Bodden. Then, with the Bills trailing 21-0, he helped start the comeback with a nice 11-yard touchdown catch over Devin McCourty on a fade pattern after McCourty bit on his inside move. Johnson had little difficulty gaining separation from the Patriots corners and showed that he can go deep on occasion, but he continues to do most of his damage on the shorter routes like slants and curls.
2011 Week 4 vs CIN (6 / 4 / 58 / 0 rec)
It was a relatively quiet day for Stevie Johnson as he finished with his lowest output of the year so far. He was mostly matched up against CB Leon Hall, who kept him in check for most of the game and only allowed some short completions. He did come up with one of the biggest plays of the game, however, when he got behind Kelly Jennings for a 44-yard play down to the Bengals 2 yard line in the second quarter. Johnson was also involved in one of the most critical plays of the game. Early in the fourth quarter with the Bills trying to protect a 7 point lead, Johnson made what appeared to be a clear catch to extend the drive but an official ruled that the ball had hit the ground. There was no clear angle on replay to overturn the call, so the Bills were forced to punt and the Bengals drove down the field to tie up the game on their next possession.
2011 Week 5 vs PHI (5 / 4 / 29 / 0 rec)
In a matchup against the best group of corners in the league, Steve Johnson was held to his lowest output of the season. The Bills were very determined to take advantage of the Eagles run defense and that left relatively few opportunities for Johnson and the passing attack to get on track. Facing tight coverage on most plays, Johnson still managed to get open on some shorter routes over the middle. He caught 4 of the 5 passes thrown his way, but only converted them into 29 yards. The Bills tried moving him around and lining him up in the slot at times, but there just weren't many plays to be made.
2011 Week 6 vs NYG (10 / 5 / 39 / 1 rec)
Johnson was mostly matched up against the Giants best corner in Corey Webster for much of the game and was held to just 39 yards on his 5 catches. He showed off his separation skills in the fourth quarter, however, when he faked a slant route and then pulled in a quick pass for an easy touchdown. Johnson was targeted a game-high 10 times but several of the passes were underthrown on go routes and wound up being intercepted, even though he had a step on Webster on both plays. This was a solid outing that could have been a great day if one or both of those balls had been thrown a bit deeper.
2011 Week 8 vs WAS (9 / 6 / 57 / 0 rec)
Johnson was not able to get open for any big plays again this week, but still came through with some nice plays on slants and crossing patterns. He finished as the team's leading receiver with 6 catches on 9 targets. Unfortunately, he has no failed to break 60 yards for 4 games in a row. Defenses are shifting their coverage to his side of the field and playing him very tight. He is still getting open but having a hard time making anything happen after the catch.
2011 Week 9 vs NYJ (6 / 3 / 84 / 0 rec)
Johnson was matched up against All Pro CB Darrelle Revis for much of the game and actually managed to finish with some impressive numbers despite being shutout for the first half. He got behind Revis for a huge 52-yard gain down the right sideline in the third quarter that seemed to give the Bills offense some life. He also drew a defensive holding penalty on Revis in the fourth quarter and then made a beautiful sideline grab for a 26-yard gain two plays later. Against a very difficult matchup, Johnson made some big plays and suggested that he is certainly capable of playing like a true #1 WR for this team.
2011 Week 10 vs DAL (5 / 2 / 8 / 0 rec)
Johnson was blanketed by the Cowboys defense all game long and finished with his worst outing of the season. He drew a penalty for pass interference in the first half but did not pick up his first catch until the third quarter. Additionally, Fitzpatrick locked onto him in the fourth quarter only to see the ball picked off and returned for a touchdown. He saw a lot of double coverage in the game and the Bills could not take advantage by going to their other weapons.
2011 Week 11 vs MIA (8 / 2 / 16 / 0 rec)
Johnson missed practice time this week and was not playing at 100%, which seemed to really hurt his effectiveness in the game. He had several drops and did not get his first catch until midway through the 3rd quarter. Johnson had a lot of trouble gaining separation from Vontae Davis in the game and wound up with just 2 catches on 8 targets for his second terrible game in a row.
2011 Week 12 vs NYJ (13 / 8 / 75 / 1 rec)
Johnson was a focal point in this game for both good and bad reasons. The good is that he was able to have consistent success against All World CB Darrell Revis. He was matched up against him for nearly the entire game and finished with 8 catches (on 13 targets) for 75 yards and a touchdown. Johnson did not shrink from the challenge and attacked him with a lot of quick-hitting slants that helped the Bills sustain long drives. The bad came following his touchdown catch when he was penalized for excessive celebration, which played a role in a botched squib kick and helped the Jets tie up the game before halftime. Then, another negative play came late in the game when he dropped what looked like an easy catch with the Bills driving for a game-winning touchdown.
2011 Week 13 vs TEN (8 / 5 / 52 / 1 rec)
Johnson was a non-factor through much of the game but made some plays near the end as the Bills tried to complete their comeback attempt. He caught the team's only touchdown pass of the game in the fourth quarter on a nice 2-yard slant pattern and had a couple of 20+ yard gains, but otherwise was kept in check.
2011 Week 14 vs SD (10 / 4 / 116 / 0 rec)
Johnson was productive due mostly to two long receptions. The first was a great grab on a deep ball down the sideline for 34 yards. On the play, Johnson made a great adjustment while the ball was in the air to twist his body towards the pass and fall towards the sideline. In the second half, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick hit the streaking Johnson in stride down the right sideline, and Johnson then picked up another 20 yards after the catch by running away from the defense towards the middle of the field.
2011 Week 15 vs MIA (10 / 5 / 82 / 0 rec)
Johnson is headed for unrestricted free agency at the end of the year so his time as a Bill could be winding down. He had another up and down type of game this week as he made some nice catches and finished with respectable numbers of 5 catches for 82 yards, but he was also involved in some key negative plays as well. Fitzpatrick overthrew him badly on a deep route in which he got behind the defense and should have had an easy touchdown. Two of the interceptions that were thrown in the game also were targeted at Johnson and at least one of them looked like he could have tried to do more to break up the play.
2011 Week 16 vs DEN (7 / 4 / 92 / 0 rec)
Johnson easily led all Bills players in pass targets, receptions, and yards this week. The highlight for him came in the second quarter when he got open on a slant over the middle and turned it into a 55-yard gain. The Bills took control of the game with their defense and special teams, which left relatively few opportunities for the Bills receivers. Johnson is just 36 yards shy of reaching 1000 yards for the 2nd year in a row, which would be a nice benchmark for him as he possibly heads into unrestricted free agency.
2011 Week 17 vs NE (7 / 4 / 40 / 1 rec)
Well, it was another eventful week for Steve Johnson. He was very active early in the game and caught 4 of the 7 passes thrown his way for 40 yards and a touchdown. Unfortunately, he was flagged for excessive celebration after scoring and coach Gailey benched him for the rest of the game. It's been a strange but generally positive season for Johnson, as he put up strong numbers but also showed some immaturity that could raise some flags as he is scheduled to enter free agency.
2010 Week 2 vs GB (6 / 3 / 31 / 0 rec)
Johnson had a prolific receiving day - well, by Bills standards - but he also had a couple of drops, one of which resulted in an interception. The WR2 spot is still a sore one for Buffalo with Johnson in there, look for rookie David Nelson to get a shot soon if he can stay on track.
2010 Week 3 vs NE (4 / 3 / 66 / 1 rec)
The first significant pass play of this game was a 15 yarder to Johnson which led to a nice long Buffalo drive that ended with a FG, giving the offense some much needed momentum and the lead to start the game. Johnson corkscrewed his way into the endzone on a 37 yard TD pass late in the 4th quarter to keep the game respectable.
2010 Week 4 vs NYJ (7 / 3 / 31 / 1 rec)
Johnson has been pretty consistent of late and produced in little ways each game. With the overall ineffectiveness of the offense, he wasn't able to put together a huge game and he did most of his damage when things were pretty much out of control. Johnson scored his touchdown on rookie corner Kyle Wilson. Wilson was all alone on Johnson, who froze him with a little stutter step and then blew past him, making a nice catch in the end zone.
2010 Week 5 vs JAX (9 / 5 / 46 / 2 rec)
Johnson scored his third and fourth touchdowns of the season, but only one came when the game was in question. His size and strength allow him to outmuscle defensive backs for position in the red zone, but he is not a mainstay in this offense despite his scoring frequency since Ryan Fitzpatrick took over.
2010 Week 7 vs BAL (10 / 8 / 158 / 1 rec)
Stevie Johnson, as he prefers to be called, is proving to be a legitimate weapon in this Buffalo offense that teams will have to start taking into account when game planning. He has a very wide catch radius, either going low or showing his jump ball ability to snag the ball in any situation. He did not have a single drop in this game, and only double caught one pass. Johnson reads defenses well and knows whether to break off the route and run back to the Quarterback or turn routes upfield. He has the quickness to run short routes and deceptive deep speed on the outside. Johnson looked very confident in this game catching the football very comfortably, and making tough catches look routine. He has an uncanny ability to reroute defenders who try to cover him, and then proceed to be able to run away from them and pick up a big gain after the catch. Johnson always seemed to have a yard or two of separation at least from his defender and gave Fitzpatrick big windows to throw into at times, including a deep fade route along the sideline for his touchdown.
2010 Week 8 vs KC (10 / 5 / 37 / 1 rec)
Another TD for Johnson, who has become the receiver of choice in the red zone for Fitzpatrick. Johnson displays a knack for fighting off defenders, establishing position, and he has great hands. On his TD, he did a great job of catching the ball low, and keeping his knees off the ground as he dove for the sole TD of the day for the Bills.
2010 Week 9 vs CHI (14 / 11 / 145 / 0 rec)
Just like his quarterback, Johnson continued his improbable, newfound success against the Bears on Sunday. Matched up most of the day against Bears' veteran cornerback Charles Tillman, Johnson put on an absolute CLINIC throughout the day, pulling in a ridiculous 11 receptions on 14 total targets and gaining multiple chunks of yardage after the catch. Despite not finding the end zone on the day, Johnson still managed to put up respectable point totals in PPR leagues thanks to his 11 receptions and 100+ yardage day. Johnson has long been an every week starter and with the Bills continued confidence in their passing game, it's likely safe to assume he'll continue this run of success for the rest of the year.
2010 Week 10 vs DET (8 / 3 / 37 / 0 rec)
Johnson had his worst fantasy day since week 2, in part due to the Bills balanced game plan, and in part due to a drop on a potential big play and an underthrown deep ball from Fitzpatrick. Don't abandon the surprise breakout star just yet.
2010 Week 11 vs CIN (11 / 8 / 137 / 3 rec)
Johnson is so silky smooth in his route-running, has excellent speed and never seems to drop a pass. On one of his three TD's he just made an almost imperceptible fake back to the outside, froze the defender then kept going upfield for a very easy TD. The chemistry between Johnson and Fitzpatrick is excellent, as the two have had a lot of practice time together as backups. Now on the big stage, Johnson is making his presence felt every week. Fitzpatrick and Steve Johnson worked the backup safeties over in the 2nd half with big play after big play, and at this point, Steve Johnson is a front-runner for the pro bowl, which is just amazing.
2010 Week 12 vs PIT (15 / 7 / 68 / 0 rec)
"Stevie Styles" showed everyone the vast spectrum of things that a young, up-and-comer can show over the course of a whole season in this game. The good: he was targeted a ridiculous 15 times, with the next highest on the team being 8; he caught a team-high 7 passes. The bad: he dropped 5 passes officially, though one looked more like a pass break-up. The ugly: he dropped a sure-fire TD in overtime that (obviously) would have won the game for his team. The Bills have confidence enough in Johnson to line him up all over the field and to have him run the entire array of routes. He caught balls short and intermediate in this game and was targeted on a deep pass (the game-winner-that-wasn't was from 40 yards out). There's a long, prosperous career ahead for Johnson if he doesn't let this drop ruin him. It was the kind, however, that could haunt a player. Steelers fans most likely immediately had visions of Limas Sweed dropping TDs in the AFC Title game vs. Baltimore or in a regular season game vs. Cincinnati last year, but Johnson has already flashed enough brilliance to make those comparisons ridiculous. He'll have many more games closer his breakout performance last week vs. the Bengals than like this one vs. the Steelers.
2010 Week 13 vs MIN (4 / 2 / 36 / 0 rec)
Steve Johnson started off the wrong way in this game as he was targeted on a post route down the seam but ended up dropping a very catchable pass from Fitzpatrick. He hauled in a pass with a couple of minutes left in the fourth quarter which he took for a decent gain against a very passive zone defense from the Vikings. Johnson's lack of productivity was a result of the Bills offense being unable to get going more than anything.
2010 Week 14 vs CLE (8 / 5 / 42 / 0 rec)
Johnson continued his solid play, picking up a number of big first downs and extending drives. He didn't make his way into the endzone, but the Bills were content to play ball-control and keep the ball out of the air. When the time came for big plays, Fitzpatrick still looks to Johnson, and Johnson continues to come up big. He had a huge catch on the sideline where he somehow kept both feet in for a first down. Then later in the game, Fitzpatrick looked his way on 4th and 1 for a short gain. These two have great chemistry and you should expect Johnson to continue to be solid the rest of the year.
2010 Week 15 vs MIA (9 / 6 / 69 / 1 rec)
He has great energy and is developing into a real threat in the NFL for years to come. Many think 2010 will be a fluke but this writer has been impressed all season. He doesn't run the crispest of routes but he gets separation and finds openings in the defense. The fear is against tough secondary's he won't find the soft spots or areas and with lack of discipline running routes it leaves him as an afterthought in the passing game. Fitz definitely looks for him and Lee Evans is on IR for the rest of the season. Clearly he is going to be the focal point of a lot of targets and has a chance to really expand on some eye popping stats the next couple weeks and wasn't even drafted in most leagues. He did an admirable job although he was flagged for a PI call in the end zone. He still came back later and caught another touchdown which stood. Johnson has good instincts and with further development has a chance to be a perennial top20 WR in the NFL for the next many years.
2010 Week 16 vs NE (10 / 5 / 58 / 0 rec)
New England was dialed in and waiting for Buffalo to force the ball to Steve Johnson. And it worked as after a while he finally had his route jumped and then Fitzpatrick didn't look his way again for almost the rest of the game. He had very mediocre numbers for a guy that has had some big games this season and a pretty high ranking WR most weeks in projections. He was covered well and forced Buffalo to look at other receivers to throw to. This offense needs a TE that can make plays and open up the middle of the field for some better looks; too much sideline activity right now.
2010 Week 17 vs NYJ (12 / 5 / 72 / 0 rec)
Johnson has emerged as a huge weapon for the Bills and was once again the top receiver for the team. His biggest play was a negative though, as he fumbled a ball early which really set the tone for a bad day for the Bills. Early in the first, Johnson ran a sharp route and caught the ball in stride as he split the Jets defense. When the jets caught up with him, he tried to do a little too much and he was held up and stripped by rookie safety Emmanuel Cook. Johnson didn't have the ball quite secure enough and the fumble was recovered by the Jets who marched down the field and scored three points. Johnson was also the target on several of the interceptions thrown by the Bills quarterbacks. On the good side, Johnson ran a nice route and made a good catch late in the fourth. Johnson recognized that he had a huge cushion as he came off the line and ran right for the first down marker, cutting towards the sideline as the ball arrived, getting both feet in and securing the ball before he stepped out and stopped the clock. Johnson has shown some talent as well as some football smarts this season but needs to work on being a bit more consistent - and mature - over the course of a game.
2009 Week 8 vs HOU (1 / 1 / 5 / 0 rec)
Johnson was able to get on the stat sheet for the first time this season, grabbing a short 5yd catch on his only target. Johnson is an intriguing prospect who holds some upside for dynasty leaguers heading into next season.
2008 Week 5 vs ARI (1 / 1 / 8 / 0 rec)
Johnson was not much of a factor in the game.
2008 Week 10 vs NE (1 / 1 / 15 / 0 rec)
Buffalo's seventh round draft pick from Kentucky caught the only pass thrown to him, a 15 yard sideline route in the second quarter.
2008 Week 11 vs CLE (5 / 3 / 41 / 0 rec)
The rookie Johnson led all Buffalo receivers not named Marshawn Lynch in receiving with three catches for 41 yards.
2008 Week 14 vs MIA (1 / 1 / 14 / 0 rec)
The rookie from Kentucky made his one catch in the first quarter.
2008 Week 15 vs NYJ (2 / 2 / 13 / 1 rec, 1 / 6 / 0 rush)
Johnson caught two balls for 13 yards, also adding the sole Buffalo receiving touchdown. Johnson caught a two yard touchdown pass slanting across the middle late in the second quarter, and later in the fourth added an 11 yard gain. It was the only receiving action he saw all game.
2008 Week 16 vs DEN (1 / 1 / 3 / 1 rec)
Johnson, the 6'2 and 200 pound rookie out of Kentucky, scored his second TD of the season early in the fourth quarter. He beat the shorter Dre Bley on a three yard pass which put the Bills ahead 23-20.