Teams have been double teaming Johnson for years, bringing cornerbacks inside and safeties over the top. Yet with coaching staffs past, the Lions had no problems tossing the ball to the 6-foot-5 receiver in jump ball situations. It helped lead him to the single-season NFL receiving record in 2012.
Things have changed. Johnson turns 30 on Tuesday and while the attention is similar -- his utilization has been altered, changing his game and in some ways eliminating the mismatch wide receiver from making as many game-changing plays.
After an opening week where Johnson saw four targets, the Lions used him heavily the past two weeks. But it has been on primarily short and intermediate routes instead of the downfield patterns he used to be targeted on.