Detroit Lions: Is Calvin Johnson the Second Coming of Barry Sanders?

By Ken Grace
Tim Fuller–US Presswire

Detroit Lionswide receiver Calvin Johnson caught 11 passes for 225 yards in a 31-18 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on a Saturday night edition of Monday Night Football.

It was a career night for Johnson as he eclipsed the great Jerry Rice’s record for most yards by a wide receiver in a single season. Johnson now has amassed 1, 892 yards but unfortunately it has not panned into a winning season for the Detroit Lions who are 4-11.

The Detroit Lions are no strangers to have great players break records; they had Barry Sanders, one of the greatest running backs to ever play the game. Sanders, like Johnson was a stand-up guy who was well liked not only by fans but by players as well. Year in and year out Sanders had great seasons but retired early, mostly due to the futility of the Lions as an organization. Barry Sanders retired as one of the greatest players in the NFL but played on one of the worst teams.

Years later, the Lions would draft Calvin Johnson from Georgia Tech and he has become one of the best wide receivers of the game but is he on a path to become the next Barry Sanders? The Lions will once again miss the playoffs in a year they were supposed to be playoff contenders. They have great cornerstones in Johnson and quarterback Matthew Stafford who have joined together to be one of the league’s most exciting duos.

The Lions are ranked number one in passing but only have four wins to show for it. It certainly is not because of a lack of effort on Johnson and Stafford’s part. They play hard every game just to make the Lions competitive but that is not good enough in the NFL and is unacceptable for a team with the talent the Lions have.

Detroit has lots of work to do during the off-season if they plan on keeping Calvin Johnson. Their wide receiver loves the game too much to retire from it early but if the Lions do not get better Johnson will certainly want out at some point. Setting records is great but at the core of everything athletes play to win and Johnson, whom many call “Megatron” is definitely an athlete.

When Johnson retires, he will definitely go down as one of the greatest ever and will be in the Hall of Fame but one can only wonder if he will do so as a Detroit Lion or with another team who gave him a better chance to win?

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