Calvin Johnson will be forever linked to the Bears

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9-12-2010---Bears vs. Detroit Lions---Lions receiver Calvin Johnson lets go of the ball after seemingly catching a TD pass late in the 4th quarter. The pass was ruled incomplete--Sun-Times photo by Tom Cruze

Looking back on a career as amazing as Calvin Johnson’s, it is hard to decide what his most amazing moment was. There is no debate, however, on which play he will be most remembered.

During Week 1 of the 2010 season, in which the Lions would finish below .500, Johnson had his most iconic play against the Bears. With roughly 30 seconds left in the game and the Bears up 19-14, a ball from Shaun Hill was heaved up to Johnson. The star wide receiver caught the ball, went to the ground, put the ball down and started celebrating his game winning touchdown.

But he didn’t actually catch the ball, according to the NFL.

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This single play ushered in the era of the “Calvin Johnson rule” and ever since, fans have tried to figure out what a catch is in the NFL.

It was a fitting end for Calvin Johnson

In a bit of karmic retribution, if the retirement sticks, Johnson’s final game, touchdown and catch came against the Bears on that same field.

In Week 17, the Lions and Bears played for the right to be in last place in the NFC North. For now, it’s Johnson’s last game in the NFL. Fittingly, it was highlighted with a diving touchdown catch by Johnson.

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