By: Pat Caputo
1. Stafford is a quarterback. He touches the ball on every play. Johnson is a truly great player, but as a wide receiver, his impact on a game is limited by his position. It’s not a coincidence no NFL MVP has ever been a wide receiver, and that the majority have been QBs.
2. In 2008, Johnson caught passes for 1,338 yards and an NFL-leading 12 touchdowns. The Lions were the only 0-16 team in NFL history. Stafford was drafted first overall the following spring. By 2011, the Lions made the playoffs for the first time since 1999. Again, it was the impact of having a highly-skilled QB.
3. Calvin Johnson has not been 100 percent healthy this season. The Bears were 3-0 when the Lions beat them. Johnson had receptions for 44 yards. The Browns had won three straight games when the Lions beat them on the road. Johnson had 25 yards receiving that day. Stafford has benefitted greatly by having Calvin Johnson as his primary target, but it’s not the only reason he has been successful. A lot of this has been on Stafford, who has engineered come-from-behind victories in the fourth quarter of 23 percent of his 52 NFL starts.