On NFL Network's Top 100 show, Calvin Johnson came in at #27 and in that show Lions head coach Jim Schwartz highlighted the Lions-Bucs game that the Bucs lost in overtime. "Calvin took over that game," said Schwartz "and the reason he took that game over is their defense played them straight-up."
Those comments are another reminder why the Bucs really need Aqib Talib back to really make the playoffs next season. Talib is the only player on the roster with both the skills and the talent to take on a top-notch, physically dominant receiver like Calvin Johnson. Myron Lewis has the talent but not the skills to do so, and Ronde Barber has the skills but isn't physically gifted enough to keep up with them.
When the Bucs didn't have Aqib Talib against the Lions they tried Myron Lewis, E.J. Biggers and Ronde Barber against Calvin Johnson. None of them got much done, though Lewis managed to defense a pass in a jump-ball situation. The Bucs' inability to stop Johnson meant they gave up a last-second game-tying field goal, and allowed the Lions to score a game-winning field goal on the opening drive of overtime. And that was the crucial game that the Bucs should have won, which would have gotten them to the playoffs. With Aqib Talib, the Bucs could've stopped Calvin Johnson. With Aqib Talib, they could've made the playoffs.