Calvin Johnson is now the league’s highest-paid receiver after a brilliant 2011 season.
He had 96 catches for 1,681 yards with 16 touchdowns.
This season, though, he’s not leading in any major receiving category, and his numbers aren’t as eye-opening: 35 catches for 558 yards with just one touchdown.
“I think teams are doing everything they can to try to take him away. Any time we get inside the 10-yard line, they are vicing him or rolling guys over the top, whatever they’re doing to try to keep him out of the end zone,” Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford said. “We’ve just got to do a better job of finding other guys and other guys making plays, and me putting it on other guys to get sevens.”
Not that Stafford has any complaints about Johnson.
“Everybody wants a true No. 1, and we have one of the best, if not the best, No. 1 wide receiver in the league,” Stafford said. “It changes some coverages and changes some thing on game days that you’ve got to adjust to, but he makes a lot of plays.”
Last week in Philadelphia, Johnson had just one catch for 28 yards in the first half. But he had five catches for 107 yards in the second half.
The Lions won 26-23 in overtime.