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Lions-Packers matchup of the day: Tuesday

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Dan Arkush

darkush@pfwmedia.com
Executive editor

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Posted Dec. 27, 2011 @ 7:44 p.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

Lions WR Calvin Johnson vs. Packers CB Tramon Williams

A year ago at this time, Williams (four interceptions this season, including one returned for a score) was performing as well any cornerback in the league, providing consistently sticky coverage and coming up with what seemed like one huge play after another. However, it's been a different story this season, as injuries have hindered Williams for the first time in his career, contributing to more than a few breakdowns. Williams did rise to the occasion on Thanksgiving Day in the first game vs. Detroit this season, primarily matched up vs. Johnson in man coverage. On the day, Johnson had only four catches for 49 yards and a meaningless TD catch in the game's waning moments. Williams had a decent outing last Sunday night vs. the Bears, his stumble and missed tackle of Bears WR Earl Bennett on one 49-yard reception notwithstanding.

With his rare size, speed and body control, a strong case can be made for Johnson as the league's most dominant receiver. After starting out like a house on fire the first month of the season with a pair of TD catches in each of his first four games, Johnson cooled off a bit before catching fire again the last couple of weeks. The man they call "Megatron" was certainly dominant two games ago, when he caught nine passes for 214 yards and a pair of TDs in the win over Oakland, including a game-winning six-yard score with 39 seconds remaining. After his 4-102-1 game last Sunday vs. the Chargers, Johnson has 15 TD catches, which matched a single-season team record and ties him for the lead league with Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski. His 1,437 yards receiving (16.9 yards per catch) are the second-most in the league behind Patriots WR Wes Welker.

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