Calvin Johnson Needs A Week or 2 Off
There are few players targeted as much as Calvin Johnson, by both the Detroit Lions and the defenses he goes up against. Matthew Stafford’s favorite weapon, and the most unstoppable receiver in the NFL for several seasons now, is going to need rest. Ankle injuries can be tricky if you don’t get them healed, and high-ankle sprains generally take a few weeks to recover from, which he has. It’s one thing to do whatever you can to heal u throughout the week, and maybe take an injection to play through the pain, but it only makes matters worse when you play at the highest level every week.Besides, Johnson is only 29 years old, he still has a few great years to go before his individual plays is expected to decline. So, with setbacks bound to happen, the Lions realize they need Megatron to get right and he won’t be active in week 6 against the rival Minnesota Vikings. That’s a start. The extra time will give him 14 days to rest and possibly play against the New Orleans Saints in week 7, or 21 days to face the Atlanta Falcons the following week.
Lions Weakest Link is on Offense
Stafford simply has to be held accountable for being paid as the franchise quarterback. A 6:4 TD:INT ratio (with a lost fumble) just isn’t going to cut it anymore, he’s done this for far too long and they’ve scored the 6th fewest points in the league. That’s one of the biggest reasons that they brought in head coach Jim Caldwell, for his extensive history working with quarterbacks.
The acquisition of Golden Tate has paid off early in the season. His contributions include a pair of triple-digit performances and another game just shy of the century mark for an average of 90 yards. He scored his first touchdown of the season in last week’s loss to the Buffalo Bills. Dynamic return man Jeremy Ross caught my eye last season as a speed receiver that can stretch the field. In a week 4 win against the New York Jets, he caught a bomb for a score out of the slot. He isn’t a small guy however, so the 6-footer can fill in out wide while Johnson is sidelined.
Last season tight end Joseph Fauria was used as a redzone threat with 7 TDs, why does he have zero in 5 weeks? With Brandon Pettigrew limited to a blocking role, rookie Eric Ebron needs to be utilized like the 10th pick in the draft. The running back position has depth, there is no valid excuse for them not to produce regardless of who is on the field. They have Reggie Bush and Joique Bell shuffling in and out of the lineup, but one has always been active. Prospect Theo Riddick missed a game but will be playing this Sunday, as will Bell in Bush’s absence. Offensive Coordinator Joe Lombardi likes to mix it up with a backfield trio, as he did with the Saints in previous seasons. You can’t point the blame t the play-calling, they rank 5th in time of possession.
The O-line has played belowed average, ranking 18th on Pro Football Focus. The rotation at right tackle hasn’t been effective, but if you watch the games Stafford has always held onto the ball too long. I can’t place the blame anywhere else but the signal caller when it comes to improving this offense.
Top-Rated Defense in the NFL
The offense is blowing golden opportunities paved by the #1 defense in football heading into week 6. They have allowed the fewest yards, 2nd-fewest points, and top-10 with a dozen sacks. What more can you ask of a defense where the secondary is basically unknown, yet they rank 6th vs. the pass and 3rd vs. the run. The secondary has been impressive, thanks to defensive coordinator Terryl Austin, former defensive backs coach of the Baltimore Ravens. No wonder the Ravens DBs are struggling and currently rank 26th. Linebacker DeAndre Levy has 51 tackles which is 5th in the league. So far, they have recorded a pick-6 and a safety.