The tale of the tape: Patrick Peterson vs. Calvin Johnson

Sep 13, 2013, 2:58 AM | Updated: 2:59 am

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It’s a fight weekend in Vegas.

But come on, it’s still all about football.

So if you’re looking for a great one-on-one matchup, Mayweather-Canelo isn’t “The One.” For that, you need look no further than beyond your backdoor. No, not Lions versus Cardinals either.

“The One” is the battle within the war.

“Peterson vs. Johnson: Gettin’ Scary in the Secondary”

Time for the tale-of-the-tape: (Peterson in red, Johnson in blue)


33 vs. 3

According to NFL Network’s “Top 100 Players of 2013”, Patrick Peterson is rated as the 33rd-best player in the league, where only Adrian Peterson and Peyton Manning rank ahead of Johnson. However, both Peterson and Johnson were ranked the best player in football at their respective positions.


6-foot-1, 220 lbs. vs. 6-foot-5, 240 lbs.

Patrick Peterson is one of the biggest corners in the game, but Johnson is an absolute freak. So maybe Peterson can make up for the four-inch, 20-pound difference with his 39″ vertical leap? Nope. Calvin Johnson has a 42.5″ vertical, not to mention a pair of the longest arms in football. No wonder he’s considered the best receiver in the game — there’s no way to defend him.


4.34 vs. 4.32

Wait. So, one of the biggest cornerbacks and the biggest receiver in the NFL are also the fastest players at their positions? Short answer — yes. I told you this was a great matchup. The Bleacher Report power rankings named the top 25 fastest players in the NFL before the season. Peterson was third on the list. Johnson, first.


P2 vs. Megatron

Johnson not only wins again, he wins this one in a landslide.
“Megatron” is one of the great nicknames in sports history. However, it could be argued that Peterson is the true transformer. One minute he’s a cornerback, the next a wide receiver, then a punt returner, and this week I heard Bruce Arians intends to use Peterson in the fourth quarter as a talking red Ferrari. Good luck trying to cheap shot that, Suh.

Better Endorsement Partner

Rob Riggle (Eastbay) vs. P. Diddy (Nike)

I think Rob Riggle is a funny guy, and I’m not sure what P. Diddy’s talent is, but I still have to go with Diddy. Nike’s Calvin & Johnson ad is pretty good — better than Peterson’s Eastbay ad with Riggle. Plus, Diddy won me over a little with his role in Get him to the Greek.

Head-to-Head History

W 38-10, 7 tackles, 1 int., 2 pass deflections vs. L 10-38, 7 catches, 121 yards

The Cardinals won only one of their last 11 games last season, but the one victory came at the expense of Johnson and the Lions. Still, Calvin got his, accounting for nearly half of the team’s passing yards. The dude is indefensible.

Career Highlight

First rookie named All-Pro as kick returner vs. Single-season record holder for most receiving yards

When you’re leaving Jerry Rice’s records in the dust, you’re something special. But Peterson is a different kind of special. Not only is he arguably the best corner in the game, he is inarguably the best punt returner, and now he’s an offensive weapon as well.

Career Lowlight

Honey Badger roommate keeps leaving toilet seat up at the house, ‘cuz he doesn’t give a s**t vs. Played on the only 0-16 team in NFL history

I’d prefer the roommate.

People They’ve Hurt

Miami Hurricanes vs. Oakland Raiders

The Oakland Raiders passed on taking Johnson with the top pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, opting for “franchise quarterback” JaMarcus Russell instead. Ouch!!!! A year later, Peterson backed out of a verbal commitment to Miami after his senior year of high school football to attend LSU.

Now You Know

Johnson against Johnson? vs. Shoeless Calvin Johnson?

Patrick Peterson’s last name was actually Johnson, until he had it legally changed in 2008. Calvin Johnson’s first love is baseball, and he would have been drafted as a center fielder had he not chosen football out of high school.


Loss vs. Win

Peterson or not, Matthew Stafford is going to get Johnson the ball following last week’s four-catch, 37-yard performance. But more than that, the Lions defensive front four is a bad matchup for the Cards Jonathan Cooper-less offensive line.


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The tale of the tape: Patrick Peterson vs. Calvin Johnson