Carlos Osorio/Associated Press
Why it Should Happen
As much as I like Marshall, there is no denying the talent that Calvin Johnson possesses.
Not long ago, he broke Jerry Rice's single-season yards receiving mark, and he has been the single most dominant receiver in the NFL. Covered by two, sometimes three, defenders, Megatron is unstoppable and will snag most balls coming his way.
When the rest of the offense has faltered, Johnson continues to churn along, regardless of score or situation.
This year he has a great supporting cast. He finally has a solid No. 2 in Golden Tate, a dynamic vertical tight end in rookie Eric Ebron and, of course, the one-two punch in the backfield of Reggie Bush and Joique Bell. He also has one of the most prolific quarterbacks in the last decade, Matthew Stafford.
Johnson is absolutely the best receiver in the NFL and should be in the conversation every year.
Why It Won't Happen
Johnson should be in the conversation, but he rarely is. In part, it's because of the lack of success his team has had.
Like Marshall, you can make the argument that for all his yards, his impact in the game is somewhat limited. He doesn't win games. During his record-breaking season, the Detroit Lions went 4-12.
While we can imagine it would have been worse without Johnson, the argument can be made that no matter what he does he will never impact a season enough.
We don't give awards to guys on losing or non-playoff teams. If the Lions don't make the playoffs—or, worse, have another sub-.500 year—there's no way Johnson wins it. If Megatron couldn't win it the year he broke Rice's record, what are the chances that anything less than a magical, superhuman season will do it? And even if he shatters every record, will he win?
Heck, Adrian Peterson won in part because he broke 2,000 yards less than a year after ripping his knee apart.
Johnson has the talent, but in the end, voters could point to the rest of his team and all the losses as a reason he doesn't deserve it.
Andrew Garda is a member of the Pro Football Writers Association. He is also a member of the fantasy football staff at FootballGuys.com and the NFL writer at CheeseheadTV.com. You can follow him @andrew_garda on Twitter.