Nov 27, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) makes a catch while being defended by Chicago Bears free safety Brock Vereen (45) and cornerback Kyle Fuller (23) to score a touchdown during the second quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
The Bears started fast for the first time in weeks, jumping out to a 14-3 lead in the first quarter. However, the excitement was short lived as the Lions got things going in the second quarter. Calvin Johnson helped torch the Bears defense with 11 catches for 146 yards and 2 touchdowns, both coming in the second quarter. Let’s take a look at the film to analyze both of Calvin Johnson’s touchdown catches.
Calvin Johnson 25 yard TD catch
Game situation: 3rd down and 6 at the Bears 25 yard line (2nd Quarter 13:01 left)
Personnel: 11 (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WRs)
Defense: Cover 3 Blitz
Offensive scheme: Verticals
In a 2×2 formation and Stafford in the shotgun, the Lions attack the Bears defense vertically down the field. To the weak side, C. Fuller runs a deep Comeback while Johnson runs up the Seam. The Bears show two high safeties before the snap, but sink into a Cover 3 shell at the snap. The route combination by the Lions receivers put K. Fuller and Vereen in a bind. K. Fuller has to split the two vertical routes so he can react to a throw to either receiver.
Vereen being the deep middle defender has to read Stafford’s eyes so he can help against the Seam routes from the slot receivers. Stafford stares down Johnson the whole play, but Vereen is still late to react.
Vereen does not react until the ball is thrown and then does not show any closing speed to disrupt the pass. K. Fuller is also late to help because he shades too far outside and cannot close the gap in time.
Stafford also throws the ball with great velocity to fit it in between the two defenders. Johnson high-points the ball for the touchdown. But watch Vereen as he is so late on the throw that he does not even deliver a blow to Johnson on the play.