MIKE O'HARA

O'Hara: 'Tis the season for gifts, returns and holiday cheers and jeers

Posted Dec 25, 2012

"For Calvin Johnson, Lions superstar receiver: 108 receiving yards in the final game against Chicago. That would get him to 2,000 for the season."

‘Tis the season – for gifts, some returns (not all happy ones) and holiday cheers and jeers:

For Calvin Johnson, Lions superstar receiver: 108 receiving yards  in the final game against Chicago. That would get him to 2,000 for the season.

For Calvin, again: After hitting the 2,000-yard mark – somewhere in the middle of the third quarter – another 53. That would match the 2,053 yards Barry Sanders rushed for in 1997.

For Matthew Stafford, Lions quarterback : 305 yards against the Bears. That would put him at 5,000 for the second straight season.

For Stafford, again: Nate Burleson, Ryan Broyles and Brandon Pettigrew all to come back healthy next year. The Lions’ receiving corps was a strength at the start of the season. By the end, it was a boxed video set of General Hospital.

Madden ’13 video game: Now that Calvin has broken the curse – there never really was one, actually – the marketing staff will have to come up with another gimmick. How about something catchy: Calvin 81, and never change the name?

For Titus Young, Lions receiver in limbo: Not sure if this will happen, but he might be re-gifted – for the third time. He had second and third chances this year. Whether he gets a fourth is up to him.

For Adrian Peterson, Vikings running back: One half of the MVP vote, and a percentage from referrals from other players needing knee surgery. His performance this season is amazing after sustaining a severe season-ending knee injury in 2011.

For Peyton Manning, Broncos quarterback: One half of the MVP vote, and a percentage of referrals from other players needing neck surgery. His performance this season is amazing after missing all of 2011 after neck surgery.

For Tim Tebow, quarterback on the move: A full-scale chance to play quarterback. All signs point toTebow going to Jacksonville after a useless season with the Jets. I don’t think he’ll succeed at quarterback, but I’d like to see some team commit fully to playing him at the position. After that, there can be no complaints either way.

Louis Delmas, Lions’ safety: Some of Peterson’s healing powers to rub off on his injured knees. When healthy, he upgrades the secondary.

For Stefan Logan, Lions’ return specialist: A GPS system in his helmet, to know for sure whether he is in the end zone. He downed a kickoff at the Lions’ four-yard line against Atlanta. Logan thought he was in the end zone.

For Jahvid Best, Lions’ running back: Getting cleared on the concussion protocol tests that have kept him from playing since the sixth game of 2011. Once cleared, Best can decide if he wants to take the risk of playing again. At least he should have the chance to play or not play on his own terms.

For the Lions’ offense, Jahvid Best: It was no coincidence that the Lions were 9-1 in his last 10 games. That included a 4-0 finish in 2011 and a 5-1 record when he went out last season. Best is more than a running back. Best is a matchup nightmare for any defense because of the pressure he puts on as a receiver and runner.

For Thursday Night Football: A shorter schedule – eight games, starting the last week in September and ending on Thanksgiving night. Ratings and viewership were up this season, but the games on Thursday night don’t give fans any breathing room in the schedule.

For the NFL in December:  Go back to having doubleheaders on Saturday on the last two weeks of the season. They gave fans a choice of more meaningful games, rather than cram all the games into Sunday.

For Lions' kicker Jason Hanson: An open-ended contract – long enough to play on a Lions team that wins a road game against the Packers. In 21 seasons, he’s never beaten the Packers on the road. Hanson is a free agent after this season. There should be no doubt about re-signing him.

For Bruce Arians, interim head coach of the Colts: Some votes for coach of the year for the job he’s done while Chuck Pagano recovers from leukemia.

For Detroit Lions fans: You gave all season, and it shouldn’t go unnoticed. Ford Field was rocking in one of the most disappointing seasons in decades. It was a terrific football atmosphere every week, and the team didn’t live up to it.