Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford returned from a shoulder injury sustained in week one to throw four touchdown passes in a week eight win over the Redskins. Three of his touchdown passes went to former first-round pick Calvin Johnson who has eight TDs on the season. Whether he was double-covered (like he was on his third touchdown catch of the game), or dragging defenders into the end zone (like he did on his second TD), Megatron found a way to make plays Sunday.
Calvin has now scored in four straight games though the previous three were with Shaun Hill as quarterback. Johnson has enjoyed a nice season, but his best game of the year came in Stafford’s only full game. He had a season-high nine catches for 101 yards and three touchdowns. It was his first career three TD game and the nine catches topped his previous season high of six. Though Calvin is a force regardless of his quarterback, we’ve seen that his game is elevated to a higher level when he’s paired with Stafford.
All three of Johnson’s 100-yard games last year came when Stafford was playing quarterback. Four of his five touchdown catches last year were thrown by Stafford who was only a rookie. The other quarterbacks were Daunte Culpepper and Drew Stanton who were both more experienced yet they still couldn’t utilize Calvin the same way Stafford could.
The Matthew Stafford to Calvin Johnson combination has totaled seven touchdowns in just 11 and a half games working together. Calvin has 22 touchdowns in the 40 and a half other games he’s played with different quarterbacks. Stafford’s only had one game back from the shoulder injury, but it sure looks like the two will form a Pro Bowl combination for many years to come. As a Lions fan, there’s no way not to be excited for the future.