When Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson(notes) jumped over Dallas Cowboys cornerback Terence Newman(notes) with 1:44 left in the game for what turned out to be the go-ahead touchdown in the Lions' incredible 34-30 comeback win over the Cowboys, he didn't just make the difference for his team in this game. Johnson also set a new NFL mark. No player had ever caught two or more touchdown passes in each of the first four games of any season … until now. According to Michael Signora, the NFL's vice president of football communications, Johnson became the first player to do so on Sunday.
Before we get to the specifics of the record, let's take a look at Johnson's first touchdown against the Cowboys, who somehow thought that they could get away with putting just three guys on him in the end zone:
You'd think they'd learn, but Megatron had more to do. In the end, the Lions erased a 24-point deficit with the help of three Tony Romo(notes) picks — two returned for touchdowns — in what may have been the most amazing comeback of the 2011 season.
Let's run down the stats of Johnson's four games — it's a pretty amazing run. He caught six passes for 88 yards and two touchdowns in the Lions' season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Then, he got two more scores in just three catches for 29 yards against the Kansas City Chiefs, blew it up against the Minnesota Vikings for seven catches, 108 yards, and two more scores … and then, his eight-catch, 96-yard, two-score shot against Dallas on Sunday.
As it is so often with Johnson, it's not just the catches — it's the way the catches are made. You can almost see enemy defenders giving up as Megatron starts getting vertical, and when he's at the top of his jump, he's simply impossible to cover. He's a big reason the Lions were the first team to get to 4-0 (the Buffalo Bills lost their chance against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday), and he may just be the best receiver in the league.
One thing we do know — through the first four games of any season, you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone more productive where and when it counts.
Posted Jul 2 2012
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