Calvin Johnson vs. Deion Sanders: Who Wins Matchup?

By Michael Pidgeon
Deion Sanders
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Detriot Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson is a freak of nature on the field. There is not a corner in the current NFL that can stop him one-on-one. Even when teams try to double- or triple-cover Johnson, he still finds a way to come down with the ball. However, there may been one corner who could have stopped him one-on-one — Primetime Deion Sanders.

Now considering both of these players are years apart, the only way to see these two on the field at the same time is by visualizing it. We all know what Calvin does because he goes out there every week and plays at a high level. Sanders, on the other hand, played very hard, as well. Not only is he considered the greatest shut-down corner in NFL history, but he dabbled on the offensive side of the ball a little bit and was one of the best returners the game has ever seen.

Megatron has a four-inch height advantage on Primetime, so in a jump-ball situation, my money is on Johnson. In the strength department, I give an edge to Johnson, as well. So, if Prime tried some bump-and-run coverage on him, Johnson would likely be able to beat it. However, because Sanders has a huge edge in the speed department, and he would be able to make up the distance and keep the opposing quarterback from getting the ball to No. 81.

If we were able to see this amazing matchup on the field, not only would it be exciting, but it would be game changing. I don’t see any corner completely shutting down Johnson; not even Sanders. I also don’t see Johnson having over 100 yards receiving against Sanders, either. Basically, Johnson would get catches because he’s just too good to hold without a catch. Sanders would be able to keep his yardage down, though, and the only way Johnson scores is on a jump ball in the end zone.

I wouldn’t consider it shutting down Johnson, but Sanders would do a far better job than any corner who plays in the league currently.

Michael Pidgeon is a Los Angeles Dodgers writer for Rant “Like” him on Facebook, Follow him on Twitter @1AndOnlyPidgeon, add him to your network on Google or e-mail him at

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