Jets vs. Bills Star Spotlight: Steve Johnson


Aug 30, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Buffalo Bills wide receiver Steve Johnson (13) catches a touchdown pass from quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (not pictured) during the first quarter of a preseason game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-US PRESSWIRE

Each week for the season, we are going to take a look at the star of the opposing team. We’ll take a look at their careers, and their role in the game on Sunday. For the first installment, we take a look at the star receiver for the Buffalo Bills, and a guy that has had more success than many guys have on Revis Island. The spotlight is on Steve Johnson.

We will pick up Stevie’s career in college, when in 2005 he transferred from Chabot College to the University of Kentucky. In his final year at the school, he caught 61 passes for 1,052 yards and 13 TDs, a year that placed him second on the school’s record list. He was also the fourth player in school history to amass over 1,000 yards receiving and 13 TDs. Johnson ended up being picked in the 7th round of the 2008 NFL draft.

After a couple of slow seasons to begin his career, Steve Johnson came into his own in 2010, with 82 catches for 1,073 yards and 10 TDs. He backed that up in 2011 with 76 catches, 1,004 yards and 7 TDs. He clearly is a star in the league, and a player that is on the rise.

Nov 6, 2011; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills wide receiver Steve Johnson (13) catches a pass as New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) defends during the third quarter at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Jets beat the Bills 27-11. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE

The question has come up this week, about whether or not he owns some real estate on Revis Island.

Since becoming a prominent wide receiver, Stevie has played against Darrelle Revis twice, both in 2011 (Revis didn’t play in either Bills game in 2010). In the first matchup, Johnson caught 3 passes for 84 yards, and in the second matchup, he caught 8 passes for 75 yards and one TD. Clearly he has had more success than most against Darrelle.

Darrelle has stated he is not worried. Stevie will obviously be someone to watch on Sunday, and Darrelle will have his hands full. But Darrelle shouldn’t be too worried. First of all, despite his good play, the Bills have not won either of these football games. As we remember, part of the reason for the Bills losing the second game was a key dropped pass by Johnson.

A lot of people reference the touchdown scored by Stevie as evidence that he “owns” Revis. Take a look at it:

This touchdown was not so much on Johnson as it was on Revis. He left a little cushion for Johnson, and the Bills ran him on a quick slant. A slant pass is so quick, that it is nearly impossible to get a hand on, unless you are giving some serious press coverage. Any room at all, it is over. The touchdown was a well run pass route, and a cushion allowed by Darrelle.

As long as Darrelle plays good bump and run coverage on Stevie, the matchup should go quite well. It sure will be fun to watch, though.