PORT ARTHUR — Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit – As the No. 1 wideout on most boards heading into this season, Johnson’s performance could definitely be viewed skeptically. He’s only scored one TD this season and has just two games with over 100 yards receiving. Plus, he had a stink bomb last week against Minnesota.
However, if we compare his stats last season through four games to what he has done now, he’s actually ahead of his pace in everything except TDs. Last year, Johnson had 24 catches for 321 yards and eight TDs in his first four games. This year, he’s got 29 catches for 423 yards and one TD.
It’s also worth noting that Johnson only had eight more TDs in the next 13 games last season, so he is on a similar pace to his second-half scoring numbers, while also being on pace for just as many catches and yards as he had when he lead the league with 1,681 receiving yards. Basically, don’t sell on him yet, unless someone knocks you over with an offer.
Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans – We talked last week about how disappointing the highly-drafted QBs have been. Brees is one of those polarizing guys as the best player on a bad team. Yes, he’ll continue to play from behind, but he’s also been part of the reason why the Saints have been behind.
Brees is still leading the NFL in passing yards with 1,350. He’s also leading the league in passing attempts at 191, which is just an unsustainable number. If he continues at this pace, he’ll get to 5,000 yards again with 40 TDs and 20 interceptions. That’s right, he’s on pace to throw at least 20 INTs for just the second time in his career.
That’s not the only warning sign here, as Brees is posting his lowest completion percentage since 2004, when he started 11 games for the Chargers. That doesn’t mean automatically sell on him. If you can live with the increased interceptions, Brees should put up consistent yardage totals this season. The ineffectiveness in the Saints running game also means he’ll probably pick up most of the offensive TDs too.