Friday, December 16, 2011

Why as Calvin Johnson goes, so do the Lions

Early on, the Lions Calvin Johnson had been on pace to become only the third receiver in NFL history to catch 20 or more touchdown passes in a season, joining Randy Moss and Jerry Rice.
His pace has slowed considerably. He has one touchdown reception in the last five games, and just three in the last eight games. The Lions are 3-5 in those games. When they got out to a 5-0 start, it was keyed by Johnson, who had nine TD receptions in those five games.
This month, Johnson is averaging just 11 yards per reception. In Lions' victories this season, he has 10 TD receptions. In losses, only two.
It's kind of like as Calvin Johnson goes, so do the Lions. The excuse he has been taken out of the games by double coverage is not a valid one. It's not like the Lions don't have weapons around him. Or a capable QB. They do. They need to be more creative getting him the ball.
They have stopped throwing the ball to Johnson deep down the field. There are ways to do that without risking interceptions against double teams. One is to throw toward the sideline where either Johnson or nobody gets the ball. Also, they have to let him make plays. Sometimes that simply is letting him out-jump defenders, one of his great strengths. Last Sunday, against Minnesota, it was like the Lions stopped going to him after getting the lead. Why? Who is their best weapon the scoring zone? And the Lions settled for field goals, which almost came back to haunt them.



Blogger Workingdan said...

I had a feeling the Lions would falter after getting off to a great start.

If they want to win, yes, just keep throwing the ball to Johnson!

12:22 PM 

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