Calvin Johnson ruled out, and his offense dies.
The Detroit Lions lost 22-9 to the Green Bay Packers to continue losing streak to 22 games at Lambeau Field. All reasons for the outcome point to one man.
I wrote a couple weeks ago on the importance of running back Reggie Bush’s health is to this team. As great as he’s been his sudden stardom comes from a greater power.
After watching the ineptness of the Lions offense this past weekend everyone might as well chalk up the MVP award to Megatron.
Without him this offense turns from juggernaut to toxic waste dump on steroids. I am aware the award is going to be given to Peyton Manning or Drew Brees, but Johnson makes as much of a difference for his team as anyone.
Wide receivers Khris Durham, Ryan Broyles, Kevin Ogletree and Patrick Edwards combined for 93 receiving yards on nine catches. It’s worth noting that this stat comes on a 61 degree day in “The Frozen Tundra.”
Last year on a snowy night in Lambeau Johnson alone caught 10 passes for 118 receiving yards.
And who would have thought he could affect the offensive line? A unit that had given up seven sacks on the season gave up five without Calvin as quarterback Matthew Stafford was forced to hold onto the ball longer while waiting for receivers to get open. The Packers only had seven sacks coming into this game.
As for the run game the Packers keyed in on Reggie Bush holding him to only 44 yards rushing on 13 carries. Backup running back Joique Bell ran the ball five times for 21 yards.
The only good news on offense came in the turnover department. The Lions did not give the ball away once staying at seven turnovers on the year.
Defensively the Lions were rather impressive. They held quarterback Aaron Rodgers and company to only one touchdown. His lone score came on an 83-yard bomb to wide receiver James Jones.
It seems like every week the Lions defense plays outstanding only to give up one huge play. Last week Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte broke a 53-yard run for six. The week before that the Lions secondary nearly gave up a game-altering 57-yard touchdown grab to Washington Redskins wide receiver Aldrick Robinson that was eventually overturned.
If the defense can quit having these maladaptive brain activity changes or brain farts, if you will, their new-found strength will start to show up in the stat sheets.
Overall, a game that was expected to be a shootout turned into a defensive struggle at the drop of a Johnson. The defense played better than expected while the offense fell flat on its face. Lucky for Lions fans the defense stays the same going into next week, while the offense could have its motor back.
With a healthy Calvin the Lions win this game.