If you were to ask 100 people who the best receiver in the NFL is, you would get 99 people saying "Calvin Johnson" and one person who thinks his team's receiver is just way under-rated ("No really, if you give Percy Harvin a good quarterback he makes Calvin look like a joke"). I know this because I have gone out and done the research.
Okay, I haven't really gone out and polled people, but it's pretty obvious to anybody who actually watches the game that Calvin is far and away the best receiver in the NFL.
His rare combination of size, speed, athleticism, instincts and hands has allowed him to become the most feared wide receiver in the NFL.
But what if he didn't exist?
What if he just never decided to play football and instead decided that a career in poetry was really the way to go (I'm sure he has a soft spot)?
How would the Lions do? Who would step up and take his place? Obviously I can't answer these questions with 100 percent certainty, but what I can do is take Calvin's catches and redistribute them throughout the rest of the team based on averages and adjust the player's stats based on that.
This isn't a perfect method, these players are putting up these stats in a very specific environment, and I doubt Nate Burleson, Titus Young and Brandon Pettigrew are going to be putting up the same type of per-play production as they were when every eye on the defense is trained on one person.
I ask that you take these predictions with a grain of salt because of the logical flaws, and merely look at this as a statistical analysis of the Lions minus Calvin Johnson.