Person of interest: WR Calvin Johnson
6 feet 5 | 236 pounds
6th NFL season (Georgia Tech)
The Lions chose Johnson No. 2 overall in 2007. He was the fourth wide receiver Detroit chose with a top-10 selection in a five-year span. He was also the best. By a long shot. Johnson has scored 50 touchdowns, and he's not even halfway through his sixth season, and last year led the league with 1,681 yards receiving, and while that's not enough to make anyone forget about Charles Rogers, Roy Williams and Mike Williams, Johnson has been a trascendant player.
One of the biggest mysteries of this season has been why Johnson has not been to the end zone more. Through six games this season, he has caught 38 passes, which is actually two more than he had after six games last season. But he has scored only one touchdown this season whereas he had nine in the first six games last season. He's coming off a Monday night game in which he caught three passes for 34 yards, both season-lows.
Seattle has shown it's not going to deviate from its defensive formula. Not when it comes to defending Cam Newton and Carolina's option. Not when it comes to the Patriots and Tom Brady. And not when you bring in a 6-5 mismatch like Johnson. The Seahawks are going to give cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner help with a safety, but Seattle isn't going to gerrymander a defense to have someone stick with him the whole time.
Coach Pete Carroll: "Where he's most dangerous is when they throw it up and he goes up and makes his plays, especially when you're defending the play and he still wins. He's already famous for all of that in the early part of his career."