Detroit Lions Game Ball Week 3: Calvin Johnson


The Detroit Lions fell to 0-3 after another disappointing loss last night, this time to the Denver Broncos. The Lions made this game more difficult than it needed to be. Three turnovers, nine penalties and poor play calling in critical situations crippled their opportunity to get their first win on the season. The “Game Ball” is given to the Detroit Lions “most valuable player” in this week’s game.

Week 3 Game Ball goes to: Calvin Johnson

Calvin Johnson was far from the dominant player he has been in the past but he was the best player on the field for the Lions last night. After a quiet week 1, Calvin was heavily involved for the 2nd straight week. Targeted 13 times, Calvin managed 8 catches for 77 yards. His 25 yard catch in the 2nd quarter was a thing of beauty. Calvin’s route took him down the left sideline and had him looking inside for the pass. Matthew Stafford read inside coverage and threw the ball to Calvin’s outside shoulder. Aquib Talib was playing over-the-top coverage on Calvin and made a great read on the pass that put himself in an excellent spot to intercept the pass. Next comes a play on the ball that reminds us why Calvin’s nickname is Megatron.

The ability to make that adjustment is just an incredible athletic trait that few people on earth possess. Later in the drive Calvin went on to catch two more passes of 9 and 11 yards and then drew a pass interference penalty in the end zone that set up the Lions first score.

Other Detroit Lions players who were considered:

Theo Riddick continues to generate yards in garage time. Riddick caught 8 of his 10 targets for a total of 66 yards. He has a very specific role in this offense but his performances this season have shown enough production to warrant more involvement earlier in games.

Robert Mathis struggled in the first two games this season but showed solid improvement against the Broncos. Mathis ended the night with 6 tackles, with 2 of those tackles for a loss of yardage. He was also credited with two pass break ups and forcing the Demaryius Thomas fumble.

Josh Bynes appears to be the Lions best linebacker right now. When DeAndre Levy returns from injury, I still expect Bynes to have a solid role on defense. Bynes had 7 tackles and 1 pass break up which came on a critical 3rd down. In the 4th quarter with the Lions only trailing by two points, Bynes made another 3rd down play, running across nearly the entire field to tackle Ronnie Hillman short of the first down marker. This gave the Lions the ball back with a chance to take the lead but ultimately resulted in a questionable fumble call against Stafford.

Previous Game Ball Winners:
Week 1: Ameer Abdullah
Week 2: Ezekiel Ansah

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