Detroit Lions: Calvin Johnson has Mega-Game on Monday Night Football


Sep 8, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) catches a touchdown in front of New York Giants strong safety Antrel Rolle (26) during the first quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Calvin Johnson didn’t wait long to take over Monday Night Football. The Detroit Lions 6-foot-5, 236-pound Pro Bowl wide receiver, disappeared behind the New York Giants secondary and emerged with a 67-yard touchdown catch just 2:49 into the 2014 NFL season.

Some credit goes to Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford however, for his ability to keep the play alive with his feet. Stafford scrambled to his right and threw deep to Johnson during the game’s first drive, and defensive backs Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Stevie Brown appeared to collide. Johnson would jog into the endzone.

More from Detroit Lions

Before the first quarter could come to end in the Motor City, Stafford would connect with Johnson yet again. This time Stafford scrambled to his left, and then threw back to his right — Johnson made a diving catch in the back of the end zone for a 16-yard TD.

Johnson tied Herman Moore‘s team record with his 107th straight game with a catch.

Furthermore, much to the dismay of New York’s fans, he also out-received all the Giants receivers — combined. He finished the day with 164 yards and two touchdowns.

Stafford, a former No. 1 overall NFL Draft pick, completed his first six attempts through the air. He finished the game 22-of-32 passing for 346 yards with two touchdowns. He also rushed for a 5-yard score late in the third quarter that gave the Lions a 27-7 lead at the time.

First year head coach, Jim Caldwell’s hiring was in many ways viewed as an attempt to help Stafford take another step forward.

While play and execution were far from perfect, the team now has a better understanding of what areas they need to focus on improving moving forward.

All-in-all, the beginning of the Caldwell era in Motown can be considered a success, as the Detroit Lions dominate the New York Giants 35-14. For the Lions, it was their first home-opener on Monday Night Football since 1971.