Calvin Johnson: Predicting Megatron's Game-by-Game Dominance This Season
Johnson is sure to dominate again in 2012, and I'll predict just how dominant he will be against his 2012 opponents.
Note: These predictions are contingent on Matthew Stafford staying healthy throughout the year. Without Stafford, Johnson's numbers take a significant hit.
Green Bay Packers
In 2011, Calvin Johnson had one mediocre game against the Green Bay Packers and one absolutely dominant game.
The Packers defense ranked last in total defense as well as against the pass in 2011 and hasn't made any significant upgrades to the unit. Additionally, the Packers defense struggled to reach opposing quarterbacks, only managing 28 sacks on the season, ranking tied for 28th in the NFL.
With a defense that struggles mightily to stop the pass and get to the quarterback, Johnson should have a two very good games.
Home Game: 10 rec, 134 yards, 2 touchdowns
Away Game: 7 rec, 105 yards, 1 touchdown
Julius Peppers is good enough to make life tough for Matt Stafford, but his presence shouldn't impact Johnson's stats significantly.
Home Game: 6 rec, 96 yards, 1 touchdown
Away Game: 7 rec, 87 yards, 1 touchdown
A game of 200 yards and two touchdowns isn't out of the question.
Home Game: 11 rec, 217 yards, 2 touchdowns
Away Game: 8 rec, 133 yards, 1 touchdown
Brent Grimes is a solid corner and should challenge Johnson, but Megatron is going to get his stats.
Predicted Stats: 6 receptions, 112 yards, 1 touchdown
St. Louis Rams
The St. Louis Rams are a team that can give Calvin Johnson and the Lions some trouble in the passing game.
Additionally, the Rams imported Cortland Finnegan, who is one of the better cornerbacks in the NFL.
I expect Johnson to have a mediocre game, as Stafford utilizes the rest of the offense.
Predicted Stats: 4 receptions, 72 yards
Additionally, the Seahawks have two big and strong corners in Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman, who can negate Johnson's size advantage.
Expect Megatron to put up subdued numbers.
Predicted Stats: 4 receptions, 52 yards, 1 touchdown
Calvin Johnson is going to have his worst game of the season against the Houston Texans.
The Texans boast an exceptionally talented defense, with an elite cornerback in Jonathan Joseph. They also have a talented front seven that can make life very difficult for Matthew Stafford.
Predicted Stats: 3 receptions, 27 yards
The Lions offense is going to have its way with the Colts, and Johnson is going to dominate Kevin Thomas and Jerraud Powers, the Colts' corners.
Look for Megatron to have his best game of the season against the Colts.
Predicted Stats: 12 catches, 256 yards, 3 touchdowns
The Arizona Cardinals have the defensive talent of Patrick Peterson to shut down Calvin Johnson.
However, this is a game that could turn into a high-scoring affair with a ton of offense.
I'm leaning towards the latter. Look for Johnson to put up respectable numbers.
Predicted Stats: 6 receptions, 102 yards, 1 touchdown
San Francisco 49'ers
San Francisco is a very good defensive team, but the 49ers are only mediocre against the pass, finishing 16th in 2011.
Carlos Rogers and Tarell Brown are a solid cornerback tandem, but they aren't good enough to shut down Calvin Johnson.
Look for him to put up similar numbers to his game in 2011, when he had seven receptions for 113 yards.
Predicted Stats: 7 receptions, 98 yards, 1 touchdown
The Philadelphia Eagles, similar to the Houston Texans, are a team that can give Calvin Johnson problems.
The defense is good, ranking in the top 10 of both passing defense and total defense in 2011, and the Eagles have the cornerbacks in Nnamdi Asomugha, Asante Samuel and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to shut Megatron down.
Look for Calvin Johnson to have a mediocre game, as the Philadelphia secondary blankets him.
Predicted Stats: 4 receptions, 42 yards
While the stats say that the Jaguars should give Calvin Johnson some trouble, I'm not buying it.
Rashean Mathis isn't the player he used to be, and I expect Megatron to abuse him.
Predicted Stats: 8 receptions, 112 yards, 2 touchdowns
The Tennessee Titans are the question-mark matchup for Calvin Johnson.
Is the loss of Cortland Finnegan going to severely impact their pass defense? Can Alterraun Verner adequately replace him?
Will the pass defense improve after losing its best corner?
It's a possibility, but I don't think so.
I expect Johnson to have his way with Verner and Jason McCourty.
Predicted Stats: 8 receptions, 114 yards, 2 touchdowns
Going through the schedule, it is clear that Calvin Johnson is going to dominate 2012.
He does face some of the premier corners in the NFL this year, but they will not be able to completely shut him down.
Look for Johnson to continue to cement his status as the best wide receiver in the game and to garner MVP consideration.