OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 18: Calvin Johnson #81 of the Detroit Lions catches a fifty one yard touchdown pass over Tyvon Branch #33 of the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum on December 18, 2011 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Just because Matthew Stafford received the first Detroit Lions game ball of the week doesn't mean he got the only one. I said yesterday that two would be handed out for the win over the Oakland Raiders, and I'm sure it surprises nobody that Calvin Johnson is the recipient of the other game ball.
Johnson had been quiet for the last month or so after getting off to an amazing start in the first half of the season. He had 11 touchdowns in the first eight games but only one in the five after that. On Sunday, he exploded for nine catches, 214 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winning score. He had three total catches on the Lions' final offensive drive of the game, including one for 48 yards that set up the go-ahead score.
On the season, Johnson is now up to 1,335 yards, 14 touchdowns and 81 catches. Although his production did slow down a bit in the month prior to Sunday's game, it looks like Johnson is kicking things into high gear again, which is great news for the Lions.
When Johnson plays well, the Lions play well. Just look at this stat: Johnson has caught two touchdowns in five games this season, and the Lions won all of them. In games that Johnson had only one touchdown catch, the Lions are 2-2. In games when he was kept out of the end zone, the Lions are 2-3. Needless to say, when Johnson scores a couple touchdowns, it's a good sign for the Lions' hopes of winning.