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Cris Carter: WRONG

Since word came out this morning that former Viking receiver and current ESPN “analyst” Cris Carter excluded Calvin Johnson from his top 6 receivers in the league list, there has been quite a bit of backlash.  There is a good reason for the backlash, Cris Carter is wrong.

I know it’s his own personal list and he’s entitled to his opinion, but since his opinion contains a lack of factual evidence, I am taking the liberty of declaring his opinion null and void.

Cris Carter was a great football player, but that does not mean he knows anything about analyzing football.  In fact, a great number of “analysts” are awful because they think they know about the game because they played it.  Case in point, tonight Jaime Dukes declared on NFL Total Access that the Vikings will finish ahead of the Lions because they have more maturity and weapons.  Really Jaime?!  What weapons do the Vikings have?  Adrian Peterson, sure I’ll give you that.  Donovan McNabb?  Give me one NFL executive that would take McNabb over Stafford.  Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson, Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler vs Bernard Berrian, Percy Harvin, Visanthe Shiancoe and Jim Kleinsasser?  Please.  About the only nice thing I can say about Jaime Dukes’ analysis is at least this time he got all the players names right.

Cris Carter says that he watched film that showed Calvin Johnson didn’t need to be double covered to be taken out of the game.  He’s kind of right, CJ has has to be TRIPLE teamed to be taken out of the game.  Go back and watch highlights of the first Packers Lions game when CJ burned Charles Woodson and safety help for touchdowns.  Check out what happened against Tampa Bay when they decided to single cover him, he tore them apart.

Cris Carter was a great NFL receiver, but that does not mean he knows anything about the game other than how to run routes and catch a ball.  And call me a cynic, but Cris Carter doesn’t strike me as the type of guy that watches a lot of film like a Mike Mayock or Charles Davis (both of whom rave about Calvin Johnson.)

I know Cris Carter will never read this, but just in case he does…you find me one NFL defensive coordinator that will say on the record that he’s comfortable covering Calvin Johnson one on one.  Darrelle Revis got help on over half the pass plays in the Lions Jets game last year and as Tom Kowalski pointed out they double covered him on the most important play of the game.  CJ was held to one catch in two games last year, against the Jets and against the Packers.  The Jets game was a little misleading because the Lions picked on Cromartie and the linebackers in the passing game rather than forcing it to Calvin.  In the second Packer game Stanton really struggled with reading the 3-4 defense and the Lions didn’t pass much.  At several points in the game they even reverted to running the option.

I will never discredit somebody’s opinion if they have reasonable facts or beliefs to support that opinion, but I have a huge issue with opinions based on falsehoods and speculation.  Carter’s opinion clearly falls in that second category and it’s a shame that somebody that gets paid to watch football doesn’t take their job seriously enough to base his statements in fact.

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