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Megatron, Revis are faces of NFL 2011
Question of the Day
Halfway through the schedule, Revis has allowed a dozen catches, and his interceptions against Miami (returned 100 yards for a touchdown) and San Diego keyed victories.
This in a half-season when scoring (44.58 points per game) is on pace for a 46-year high; net yards passing (468.3 per game) are on pace for a single-season record; and interceptions are actually down slightly (254 through 130 games, on pace for 501; there were 511 in 2010, 525 the previous season).
While Revis often has been able to showcase his immense skills on national TV and in the playoffs, Johnson has had to operate somewhat in the shadow of other big-play receivers. During his 4 1/2 seasons in Motor City, the Lions have been a jalopy even as their top wideout has been a Cadillac. Plus, Johnson is anything but a diva; you won’t find any T.O. or Ochocinco in this guy.
That lack of notoriety _ he is the rare first-round draft pick made by Matt Millen who has actually worked out for Detroit _is changing a bit. The Megatron tag, which several former teammates claim responsibility for, including current Bears receiver Roy Williams and now-retired offensive lineman Damien Woody, certainly helps. So do the highlight reels filled with spectacular catches and lengthy runs after them.
Johnson’s one chance to grab the spotlight every year has been when Detroit hosts the Thanksgiving Day game. For once, the Lions figure to be viable when they take on the Packers in the early holiday game this year.
Johnson will need to be in full Megatron mode that day because Packers quarterback Rodgers has built on his phenomenal postseason last winter. The league’s leading passer, he believes Green Bay is playing better than ever this season _ it is the only unbeaten team, after all _ will shatter all sorts of records, too, should he remain on his torrid pace.
The offensive onslaught through nine weeks, spurred in part by the lockout that forced some defenses to scale back their schemes, makes the work of Revis even more impressive. It hasn’t been easy for defensive players to stand out, yet Revis has, whether he’s been covering Wes Welker, Anquan Boldin, Brandon Marshall, Vincent Jackson or Dez Bryant.
If only he matched up with Megatron this season. Revis smiles at the thought, knowing that could only happen in the Super Bowl.
AP Sports Writers Dennis Waszak in New York, Noah Trister and Larry Lage in Detroit, contributed to this story.
By David Keene
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