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Calvin Johnson is in midseason form

Calvin Johnson

FILE - In this Sept. 25, 2011 file photo, Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) is seen during the first half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, in Minneapolis. Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey has watched Johnson’s ascension into an elite wide receiver from afar. On Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011, Bailey will get a first-hand look at the explosive Lions receiver for the first time since a 2007 matchup when Johnson was just a raw but talented rookie. (AP Photo/Genevieve Ross, File)


NFL superstars rarely have 100-yard games in the preseason, because superstars rarely stay in preseason games long enough to reach 100 yards. But Lions receiver Calvin Johnson only needed to play a couple minutes into the second quarter on Friday night in Baltimore to top 100 yards receiving.

Johnson had a nifty 18-yard touchdown catch early in the second quarter, giving him five catches for 111 yards on the day -- not bad for less than 18 minutes of work.

The biggest play for the Lions’ offense came at the start of that touchdown drive, when the Lions were backed up deep in their own territory. Matthew Stafford dropped back into the Lions’ end zone, looked to his left and fired downfield toward Johnson. The ball traveled about 50 yards in the air and landed right in the hands of Megatron, who was fairly well covered but still had no trouble making the catch for a 57-yard gain.

Johnson can also help the Lions without making a catch: On the Lions’ next drive after the touchdown, they picked up a first down on an illegal contact penalty when Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith had to bump Johnson to keep him from getting past him.

It’s only Week Two of the preseason, but Stafford and Johnson appear to be in midseason form.