There has been a lot of talk on whether Calvin Johnson will be able to reach his goal of 2,000 receiving yards this season. As impressed as I was last year with Calvin Johnson performance, 96 rec for 1,681 yards and 16 TDs, this is a new year and things will be a little different. And no, I am not going to be cliche and blame some stupid Madden curse. As matter of fact, anyone that uses that as one of their reasons, just trash the piece. Let’s talk about those KEY reasons:
3. Lack of Balance
The first key reason to why Calvin Johnson will NOT hit 2,000 yards is the lack of balance. This Detroit Lions team by no stretch of the imagination has any kind of balance. Their run game has been dismal since the days of Barry Sanders. They have only one primetime receiver, Pettigrew and Burleson are average at best. Calvin Johnson will need help in order to reach this task. A threat of a running game to help keep the defense true is a must. They also need to find a true #2 receiver to help pull some of the double coverage away from Calvin Johnson. If they could find a true #2 and a legitimate slot receiver then Calvin Johnson not only could have 2,000, but he could probably have 2,500 yards. That is if they can get past the #2 and #1 key reasons that is.
2. Opposing Defenses
The second key reason is the opposing defense. The Matthew Stafford/Calvin Johnson connection caught defenses off guard last season. It was like the Miami Dolphins and the Wilcat or the Denver Broncos and Tim Tebow. All three of these game plans are defendable, but they take time and major adjustments to stop. I can guarantee you that all defenses that are scheduled to face this duo studied the game film. We will see a drop off in production as they start to play legitimate defenses. So unless the Lions can come up with a new game plan or can find a way to disquise the routes, 2,000 yards is out of the questions (1,500 will be out of reach as well).
1. Matthew Stafford
The third and main reason is his very on quarterback, Matthew Stafford. Last year Matthew Stafford had a remarkable season, but that has not been an every year occurrence and won’t be. In Matthew Staffords first season he went 201/377 (53.3%) for 2,267 yards, 13 TDs and 20 INTs in the 10 games he played in. Stafford’s second season was shortened to three games after the Cleveland Browns‘ defense treated him like a little rag doll. Stafford went 57/96 (59.4%) for 535 yards, 6 TDs and 1 INT in the three games he did play. Last season it looked like we where going to see a whole new Stafford who went 421/663 for 5,038 yards, 41 TDs and 16 INTs. Let’s face it, as sure as we are the sun will shine tomorrow, we are sure Stafford will finish his career with a low to mid 50% completion percentage and a ton of INTs. That was evident in week one when we watched Matthew Stafford start the seasons off with 3 INTs and just 1 TD. These three key reasons are why Calvin Johnson will finish the season with less than 2,000 yards.