Ranking Best Catches in Calvin Johnson's Detroit Lions Career

Brandon Alisoglu@@BrandonAlisogluCorrespondent IOctober 31, 2013

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 15:  Wide receiver Calvin Johnson #81 of the Detroit Lions catches a touchdown pass in front of cornerback Patrick Peterson #21 of the Arizona Cardinals in the first half at University of Phoenix Stadium on September 15, 2013 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

How many kids in America want to be Calvin Johnson when they grow up? Better yet, how many adults?

I know I wouldn't mind. But the odds of a drastic transformation are dwindling for me, so I've compiled these rankings of Calvin Johnson's best catches to ease my pain. 

My commentary will generally be kept short and sweet; mostly because I'm not sure there are words capable of describing Megatron's mastery. 

Without further ado, scroll down for the top five catches of Calvin Johnson's NFL career with one bonus video I couldn't help adding. 


Honorary Inclusion: No worries, I got you

Before Megatron was delighting Detroiters and fantasy owners, he gave Georgia Tech followers chills. And probably caused male Yellow Jacket fans to shriek in a manner they would normally find embarrassing. 

Tech was down four points and driving against ACC rival North Carolina State. Quarterback Reggie Ball, in dire need of a third-down conversion, took aim at Johnson on a crossing route. 

However, the ball screamed behind Johnson. If it was any other receiver, the pass would have fallen incomplete. Instead, Johnson, seemingly changing direction in mid-air, hauled in a ridiculous one-handed catch. 

I guess the Oakland Raiders didn't see that play before the 2007 draft. 


No. 5. Johnson Owns the Bucs

In 2011, the Detroit Lions were looking to shake off a decade of mediocrity. But before they could contend for the playoffs, they had to get out of the starting blocks with a win.

That's where Johnson comes in. With Detroit up seven points in the third quarter, quarterback Matthew Stafford let loose with a high pass to Johnson, who was covered well.

It didn't matter. Calvin grabbed the ball at it's highest point while falling backwards. Somehow, he held the ball up while getting both feet down. 


No. 4. Look Ma, No Hands

You'll notice quite a few highlights from the 2011 season. Calvin put up eight touchdowns in the first four games that year, creating a number of jaw-droppers along the way.

So let's head to the well once more.

The Lions were battling with the Minnesota Vikings in overtime. They needed a play. Naturally, Stafford looked for Megatron.

As Johnson beat his man on a fly route, Stafford lofted a long bomb hoping Johnson could make the play.

Of course, Calvin obliged.

But what makes this catch so special is that he literally corralled it with his finger tips. He didn't even let his palms touch the ball. It's ridiculous. 


No. 3. One is Slightly Better than None

I can't provide much context for this catch. The videos weren't forthcoming with evidence. However, the above certainly proves that Johnson is not a mere man. He's something else.

The Lions were facing the Indianapolis Colts, and cornerback Cassius Vaughn was matched up with Megatron. The sad part for Vaughn—and the entire league—is that the defensive back had great coverage. He's literally attached to his hip.

It just didn't matter. Johnson reached out with one hand and nabbed it. I'm not sure what the defense was supposed to do there. 

Maybe they should have put more guys on him?



No. 2. Death Comes in Threes

It turns out that committing more guys on Calvin won't work either. 

The Dallas Cowboys put up a great fight against the Lions in 2011, jumping out to a commanding second-half lead at home. But how many points does it take to feel safe against Johnson and the Lions?

Better yet, how many defenders does it take to even the odds on a jump ball against Calvin? 

All we learn here is that the answer is greater than three. Johnson simply outjumps and outmuscles his way to the ball and six points.


No. 1. Three-peat Repeat

We're splitting hairs here. So what makes this ridiculous catch better than the last? 

The fact that all three guys were present when he caught the ball. 

In the Dallas game, the third guy gets there late, but just in time to get posterized. Here, three Cincinnati Bengals make the jump with him, and one guy is solely focused on trying to dislodge it when Johnson brings it down.

Again, it didn't matter.

Can a player be anymore covered than that? Is it even possible?


Brandon Alisoglu has been covering the Detroit Lions for two years. He has been published at Yahoo!, Bleacher Report, CNN and other websites. He also co-hosts a podcast called Lions Central Radio with Nick Kostora that can be found on ITunes and Stitcher. Follow him on Twitter for more football talk. 


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