Any time you can get a nickname like “Megatron,” you know that you have to be a heck of a player in the NFL. For the Detroit Lions, the spark for their offense, WR Calvin Johnson is the man that is going to be under the gun to make the plays if there is any hope to beat the San Francisco 49ers on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.
Last year when these two teams met, Johnson had a solid game, catching seven passes for 113 yards. Still, in the first half of that game, he only had three catches for 29 yards, and if you take out the final play of the game when the Lions had to go virtually the length of the field to come up with the game-winning score, Megatron had just a total of six receptions on eight targets.
It didn’t get the job done last year in Week 6 when these two teams met, and it won’t get the job done this time around either.
San Francisco’s corners are fantastic, and they can play single coverage when they need to. However, going back and watching some of the tape from that game, the safeties were both often times shading towards Johnson’s side of the field, which really took away that option quite a bit. QB Matt Stafford didn’t have the time to get the read because of the pressure that he was taking from the San Fran front seven, and he often times found himself either getting sacked, throwing the ball for short gains, or just making an ill-advised decision.
We have seen Johnson in double and triple coverage before, and we have seen him come down with some amazing catches. As 6 ½-point underdogs on the NFL odds the Detroit Lions will need to force some of the action up to Johnson and to try to let their best player make plays against a talented defense. If not though, this is going to be a game that is insanely difficult to win.