All-Pro voter snubbed Calvin Johnson because of Lions losses
Calvin Johnson was left off one All-Pro ballot. When the voter was asked for an explanation as to why he didn't vote for Johnson, the rarely used 'wide-receiver wins' statistic was busted out. Sigh.
Calvin Johnson, who set the NFL's all-time, single-season record for receiving yards in 2012, made the All-Pro team. But despite him having the greatest season by a wide receiver in NFL history, he wasn't a unanimous selection.
Only Tim Ryan, who works for Fox Sports and Sirius XM, left Megatron off his ballot. And he explained why, providing some poor logic for the decision, largely based on the fact that the Detroit Lions didn't win enough games.
"Of course, he had a great year and he is a great receiver. But I look at more than statistics, and I thought a couple of other receivers had a better season -- Brandon Marshall and A.J. Green," Ryan told The Sports Xchange via Pro Football Talk.
This part is easily refutable: Mega had 456 more receiving yards than the next closest wideout, Marshall. He didn't have as many touchdowns, but 456 yards is like half a season, man.
It's the other logic that doesn't hold up.
"Johnson was targeted a lot and was often the only thing the Lions had going, but he also dropped a lot of passes and they did lose 12 games," Ryan said. "I felt Marshall helped Chicago win games and Green helped Cincinnati win games. I think that is more important than statistics."
Megatron was targeted the second-most times of any wideout in the NFL at 204. Only Reggie Wayne (211) had more targets. But Marshall was third (193), and Green was fourth (175) -- it's not like Johnson was the only wide receiver utilized by his team.
Additionally, drops are pretty much even. Pro Football Focus (must be a member to access) recorded 14 drops for Megatron on 136 catchable balls (10.29 drop rate), 13 drops on 131 catchable balls for Marshall (9.92) and 10 drops on 107 catchable balls for Green (9.35).
It's the wide-receiver wins statistic that blows my mind. Quarterback wins are probably the most overvalued stat in football; quarterbacks are important to a game and heavily impact whether someone wins or loses, but you can't judge a quarterback solely on winning games. You absolutely can't judge a wide receiver in that aspect: and if you think otherwise, well, Larry Fitzgerald would like a word.
The Lions lost games because they couldn't convert in the red zone, run the ball or provide any measure of passing defense. None of those things are on Megatron.
Ryan's a voter and he's entitled to his opinion. But in this case, his opinion is wrong. All-Pro awards aren't handed out to guys who play on teams that win their division. They're handed out to the best player at each position. And, in 2012, a year in which Calvin Johnson submitted one of the greatest seasons by a wideout in NFL history, no one was a better wide receiver.
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