Madden curse watch week 3: Detroit Lions at Tennessee Titans

Historically, players who are featured on the cover of Madden see significant drops in their offensive production. NFL.com is tracking the performance of Calvin Johnson and the Detroit Lions over the course of the 2012 season because we believe Calvin Johnson will debunk the Madden curse.

(Associated Press)

In the first two weeks of the 2012 season, Calvin Johnson recorded 14 receptions for 205 yards and 0 touchdowns. Zero. Gone are the two touchdown games and the 14+ yard receptions from last season. Memories.

(Associated Press)

Let’s not digress though, new season, new week and the Detroit Lions are on the road against the Tennessee Titans.

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FIRST HALF
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(Rick Osentoski/Associated Press)

Calvin Johnson finished the first half with one catch for six yards, while Jason Hanson ruled the uprights with three field goals. Yes, ruled. Some commish, somewhere, has Hanson on his fantasy team.

(Joe Howell/Associated Press)

The Titans’ special teams went back in time calling up a play that won them a playoff game against Buffalo in 2000.

Ladies and gents, Music City Miracle two:

In the first half the Detroit Lions couldn’t find the end zone, but thanks to Jason Hanson’s three field goals, they are still in the game.

Someone get Megatron the ball!

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THIRD QUARTER
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Down 9-20, the Detroit Lions lean on Megatron to get their offense going.

Matt Stafford passes to Calvin Johnson for 28-yards and then again for 18-yards and 1st and goal.

Johnson then moves the chains a little further with 9-yard pass to the 2-yard line, but the end zone still eludes him. Mikel Leshoure gets the touchdown.

Is this guy hanging around somewhere?

(William A. Smith/Associated Press)

Two missed field goals by Rob Bironas keeps the Detriot Lions within striking distance.

(Wade Payne/Associated Press)

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FOURTH QUARTER
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The final quarter for the Lions starts with another Hanson field goal, but moments later Stafford connects to Nate Burleson for a touchdown and a 2-point conversion. The Lions are now up by 7.

But not for long because the Lions can’t stop the Titans from making big plays like Darius Reynaud’s 105 yard kickoff return.

And Jake Locker‘s 71 yard touchdown pass to Nate Washington.

And Alterraun Verner‘s 72 yard fumble return.

Titans are now up 41-27 and Stafford hits the bench with a muscle strain and backup Shaun Hill takes over.

Are we in garbage time? Maybe so, but don’t tell Calvin Johnson. He gets his first touchdown of the season and the Lions are only down by one score.

With 18 seconds left in the game, the Lions aren’t dialing this one in. Amari Spievey retrives the onside kick and seconds later a 46-yard hail mary pass miraculously lands in Titus Young’s hands.

Touchdown and a tie game.

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OVERTIME
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Overtime begins and the Lions defense holds the Titans to a field goal. Shaun Hill responds driving the team within field goal range.

A field goal could tie the game, but miss communication on the play leads to a failed QB sneak and a Detroit Lions loss.

Calvin Johnson finished the game with 10 receptions for 164 yards and 1 touchdown. Two touchdown games may be a thing of the past, but Megatron is still Megatron.

(Tom Hauck/Associated Press)

See you next week, Madden.

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