Archive for the ‘Calvin Johnson’ Category


You’re aware that Calvin Johnson’s body is not entirely composed of human parts, and he has titanium mechanisms that can destroy an Autobot. Chicks dig it.

Yet still, even mega robots that shot lasers and rapid fire missiles and stuff lose some functionality when they’re various moving parts are busted, yes? Yes. So if Johnson broke the single-season receiving yards record while playing with multiple broken fingers, what exactly is he then?

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How does one fully appreciate genius? I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time because I never feel like I’ve seen enough football intelligence.

Whether it’s Tom Brady or Peyton Manning navigating through puny defenses on prime-time television or J.J. Watt tearing through supposed blocking schemes that are geared to stop him, I feel like I’m missing out on something tasty every second that I’m not watching. I also feel this way about Calvin Johnson, the Detroit Lions’ star wide receiver.

In case you missed it on Saturday night, Johnson broke Jerry Rice’s longtime — 17 years to be exact — record for receiving yards in a season. Rice set the record in 1995 when he amassed a then-unfathomable 1,848 yards in 16 weeks of play. With 225 yards against the Atlanta Falcons, Johnson brought his record breaking total to 1,892 yards and he has a game in hand.

For a second of nostalgia, my first exposure to the Lions’ receiver was when he was at Georgia Tech. He had a rather hopeless quarterback throwing to him and his head coach was Chan Gailey — who is now probably the least popular guy in the pipeline connecting Buffalo and Toronto.  Johnson wore No. 21, which was rather odd but typical of studly college players, and he made tons of circus catches that were simply unfair to his competition. His diving reception at midfield against the Miami Hurricanes, a favorite team of mine, in 2005 was simply ridiculous. The touchdown that has always stood out to me the most, however, was his double move against, I think, Georgia near the end of his collegiate career. He baited the cornerback into what I recall to be a curl route before he exploded up the field again and caught a wide open touchdown.

It was then and only then when I thought he was the best draft prospect I’d ever seen, which I still believe to be true today.

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You’re relieved now, Calvin Johnson owner. You feel much better about your place in the world, and your reason for being. You weren’t sure what you had done to deserve the punishment of the last two weeks and the threat of Johnson not playing yesterday, but it’s over now, and you’re safe.

But there’s still something missing despite Johnson’s seven receptions for 129 yards yesterday, a yardage total that ties Megatron for the Week 9 lead with Julio Jones prior to tonight’s game. You can’t quite wrap your mind around it, so sit with me in silence, and it’ll come back.

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You’re familiar with this Sunday morning routine by now. I stumble 10 feet from my bed to my couch and start hitting keys, while you do the same, but instead you’re just sleeping in a different location. Then around 11:30 ET the official early-game inactives begin to trickle out, and so does your hair. Fun times indeed.

But before we get to the real fun in just a little bit, let’s take care of the most pressing and important injury item which really shouldn’t be either of those things. Calvin Johnson is expected to play.

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An accurate depiction of how Calvin Johnson owners feel right now.

I know you’re feeling weary, tired, and cold. You’re worried about Calvin Johnson, even though in truth the only difference between Calvin Johnson in 2011 and Calvin Johnson in 2012 are his touchdowns. I realize the use of the word “only” there will make cutlery fly towards eyeballs. Worse, pandas will trash office space.

But before we get to the real reason for your broken objects and hair eating (not just pulling, because we’re long past that) let’s bury the lede a little and look at some very simple but very revealing Johnson numbers.

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The Detroit Lions are off to a surprising 1-3 start this season, and even though team president Tom Lewand isn’t very concerned about it, good starts by both the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears already see the Lions three behind both teams in the win column. Coming off their 10-6 2011 season, the team had high hopes for another shot at the playoffs in 2012.

To make matters worse for Detroit, arguably their best player, wide receiver Calvin Johnson, admitted to 97.1 The Ticket in Michigan that he sustained a concussion during a Week 2 loss to the Vikings. Many believed Johnson would be out for the game after a helmet-to-helmet hit by linebacker Chad Greenway. But Megatron returned after being tested by the medical staff.

Now Johnson is saying he did have a concussion, despite head coach Jim Schwartz denying the receiver’s assessment.

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Update: Megatron has returned to the game. Fantasy owners (and Lions fans) can breathe easy.