How good is Calvin Johnson? Well, he just broke Jerry Rice’s single season receiving record with a game to spare, and he has a reasonable shot at becoming the first player to gain 2000 receiving yards in one season (he’ll need 108 against the Bears in the final game). There is no doubting Rice’s greatness, but remember that he played in the West Coast Offense back when only one team ran it and people didn’t know how to stop it. Meanwhile, Johnson is amassing these totals in an offense with not much of a running game and no other great receivers.
The reality is that Johnson is possibly the best we’ve seen since Rice. He has a Randy Moss-like combination of size and speed but with better hands and a better attitude. Another way to look at it is that he’s a more athletic Larry Fitzgerald.
Ultimately, Johnson’s longevity will determine his place in the all-time standings. But how good is Calvin Johnson right now? He’s the best, and he’s got the record to prove it.
What team looks hot going into the playoffs? How about the Green Bay Packers. They have the inside track to a first round bye and have won 9 of their last 10. Was the week 1 loss to San Francisco a fluke or a harbinger of trouble ahead? We’ll find out in the divisional round, if things play out as expected.
This Week’s Sucked And Won: The Colts run defense (IND). Playing against a team (Kansas City) with a quarterback (Brady Quinn) who couldn’t do ANYTHING right, the Colts nevertheless got gashed for 352 rushing yards, including 22 for 226 by Jamal Charles and 15 for 101 by Peyton Hillis. How does this team expect to win in the playoffs?! (Answer: they shouldn’t).
What team looks shaky going into the playoffs? How about the Houston Texans. They’ve lost 2 of their last 3 and now need a win in the final week against Indianapolis to secure the #1 seed. More trouble: similar blow out losses to Green Bay and New England don’t bode well for the playoffs. They are likely to face one or both of those teams if they want to go all the way.
Shocking Realization of the Week: Greg McElroy got sacked 11 times by the Chargers.
I’ve been critical of Andrew Luck, or more specifically, of the media’s love affair with Luck, because I think RGIII and Russell Wilson have had better seasons, but Luck this week did break Cam Newton’s rookie record for passing yards with a game to spare. Luck doesn’t deserve ROY, but that doesn’t mean he’s not going to be an excellent quarterback.
This Week’s Great But Lost: Tony Romo, QB (DAL). Romo isn’t clutch, blah blah blah. Sure he’s not. In one of Dallas’ biggest games of the season, Romo went 26-43 for 416 yards and 4 TDs (passer rating 123.8). It’s not his fault they gave up 34 points to the Saints.
“At the end of the day, it’s not Cincinnati’s job to get us into the playoffs.” – Dolphins DE Cameron Wake, on being eliminated from the playoffs when the Bengals beat the Steelers.
“Nope. They should ignore us like everybody us does.” – Seahawks CB Richard Sherman, on whether teams should be worried about playing Seattle in the playoffs.
“Be quiet. Lose and it’s boring. Win and it’s boring. Never happy. I guess the only thing it’s going to take is a ring.” – Broncos CB Champ Bailey, responding to the suggestion that the Broncos have become so good they are boring.
“Do we deserve it, the way we played? Do we? I don’t think so, man. We went out there and pissed on our legs. That’s really all I can say.” – Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul, on New York’s poor showing against Baltimore with the playoffs on the line.
“If you were going to write a script, this is the way you’d want it to be done.” – Vikings coach Leslie Frazier, after his team shocked the Houston Texans to put themselves in control of their own playoff destiny.
“I’ve always been a big Packers fan.” – Bears coach Lovie Smith. Chicago needs the arch-rival Packers to win next week against Minnesota in order to make the playoffs.
“It stinks that we’re not winning and a lot of people are gonna lose their jobs over it.” – Bills C Eric Wood, referring to rumors that both head coach Chann Gailey and QB Ryan Fitzpatrick may not be with Buffalo next season.
“It feels great. Obviously there was the history, but since I haven’t been here I haven’t known that. My class, me, A.J., some of these other guys, we come in and we expect to get to the playoffs.” – Bengals QB Andy Dalton, on trying to erase Cincinnati’s past failures.
“He made this a winning football town.” – Eagles DE Trent Cole, on soon-to-be gone head coach Andy Reid.