Calvin Johnson: Predicting Megatron's Game-by-Game Dominance This Season

Nick HartCorrespondent IApril 11, 2012

Calvin Johnson: Predicting Megatron's Game-by-Game Dominance This Season

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    Calvin Johnson is the best wide receiver in the National Football League. Megatron dominated the 2011 season, finishing with 96 receptions for 1,681 yards and 16 touchdowns.  

    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

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    In 2011, Calvin Johnson had one mediocre game against the Green Bay Packers and one absolutely dominant game.  

    He caught four passes for 49 yards and a touchdown in the first game in Detroit, and then dominated the second game in Lambeau with 11 catches for 244 yards and a score.  

    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.

    Predicted Stats

    Home Game: 10 rec, 134 yards, 2 touchdowns

    Away Game: 7 rec, 105 yards, 1 touchdown

Chicago Bears

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    Calvin Johnson had two solid starts against the Bears in 2011, with five receptions for 130 yards and a touchdown in the home game and seven receptions for 81 yards in Chicago.  

    While the Bears defense ranked 17th in total defense, it was 28th against the pass.  Additionally, Tim Jennings and Charles Tillman are not talented enough to shut down Megatron.  

    Julius Peppers is good enough to make life tough for Matt Stafford, but his presence shouldn't impact Johnson's stats significantly.  

    Predicted Stats

    Home Game: 6 rec, 96 yards, 1 touchdown

    Away Game: 7 rec, 87 yards, 1 touchdown

Minnesota Vikings

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    Calvin Johnson dominated the first matchup between the two teams, but the Vikings also held Megatron to his worst game of the season in the rematch.  

    The Vikings defense ranked 21st in total defense and 26th against the pass in 2011, and with an unsettled cornerback position, the defense should struggle to contain Johnson.  

    A game of 200 yards and two touchdowns isn't out of the question.

    Predicted Stats

    Home Game: 11 rec, 217 yards, 2 touchdowns

    Away Game: 8 rec, 133 yards, 1 touchdown

Atlanta Falcons

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    Surprisingly, the Lions play the Atlanta Falcons again this season, and Calvin Johnson should be happy; in the 2011 game, he had five receptions for 115 yards and a score.  

    While the Falcon defense did rank 12th in total defense in 2011, it was far more mediocre against the pass, ranking 20th.  

    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

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    The St. Louis Rams are a team that can give Calvin Johnson and the Lions some trouble in the passing game.  

    In 2011, the Rams were in the bottom tier in total defense, ranking 22nd.  However, they finished a respectable seventh in pass defense.  

    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

Seattle Seahawks

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    The Seattle Seahawks are another team that can give Calvin Johnson a tough game.  The defense is solid against the pass, ranking 11th in 2011 and a surprising ninth in total defense

    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

Houston Texans

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    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

Indianapolis Colts

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    Surprisingly, the Colts defense finished the 2011 season ranked 15th against the pass.  However, Calvin Johnson is going to have a field day against it.  

    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

Arizona Cardinals

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    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

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    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

Philadelphia Eagles

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    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

Jacksonville Jaguars

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    The Jacksonville Jaguars are another team that had a surprisingly good defense in 2011, finishing sixth in total defense.  It also finished a respectable eighth against the pass.  

    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

Tennessee Titans

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    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


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    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.