The Detroit Lions got spanked by the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football last night, and one of the primary reasons was Lions receiver Calvin Johnson’s inability to make plays against Bears cornerback Charles Tillman. Johnson had just three catches for 34 yards.
Tillman blanketed Johnson all night, knocking passes out of his hands (including a key play in the end zone in the third quarter). There were a number of times that Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford tried to force the ball to Johnson, but without any success. It didn’t help that Johnson had a few bad drops on easily catchable balls.
One of the coolest moments of the game broadcast–for Bears fans, at least–was the above shot of Johnson standing at the line of scrimmage. In the reflection of his visor, you can see Tillman poised and ready to shut him down. It’s the kind of shot that you might expect to see on an NFL Films retrospective of the game, but not on a live broadcast. Kudos to ESPN for getting such a great shot and working it in to the live broadcast.
Johnson and Stafford will now have to regroup and try to figure out how they can get back some of the chemistry and magic they had last season. The pair connected for double-digit touchdowns in 2011, but they have yet to hook up for a score through seven games this year (Johnson’s lone touchdown catch came at a time when Stafford was injured and backup Shaun Hill was in the game).
The Lions welcome the Seattle Seahawks’ impressive defense to town in Week 8. The Bears are home to the Carolina Panthers.