Twentyman at the Half: Lions utilizing Calvin Johnson all over the field

Posted Sep 15, 2013

Held to just 37 receiving yards in Week 1, Johnson has four catches for 97 yards and two touchdowns in the first half at Arizona

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- It was only a matter of time before Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson made a big play.

After a fairly quiet Week 1 performance that saw the game's best receiver catch just four passes for 37 yards, Johnson already has four receptions for 96 yards and two touchdowns in the first half here in Arizona.

The biggest play was a 72-yard catch-and-run midway through the second quarter. Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan has done a good job moving Johnson around to all three receiver positions in the first half to get favorable matchups.

Both of Johnson's first-half touchdowns came from the slot.

On the 72-yard score, Johnson got inside leverage on Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson and Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford fit the ball into a small window in front of linebacker Carlos Dansby, who went for the interception and not the tackle. Johnson did the rest by winning the sprint to the end zone.

Johnson was also in the slot on his second touchdown catch, a 3-yard catch late in the second quarter. This time, the Lions ran the pick play to perfection with the outside receiver on Johnson's side to free him up on an outside release. He beat Peterson on the second touchdown as well.

It just goes to show how moving Johnson around to constantly force the Cardinals to change their coverages is working early on for the Lions.