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Adrian Peterson, J.J. Watt are unanimous All-Pros, Megatron is not

Minnesota Vikings v Houston Texans Getty Images

The NFL’s 2012 Associated Press All-Pro Team features just two players who were voted in unanimously: Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and Texans defensive end J.J. Watt.

It’s no surprise that all 50 members of the media who have All-Pro votes chose both Peterson and Watt: Peterson fell just short of the NFL’s single-season rushing record and is likely to win the Most Valuable Player award, and Watt is a lock to win the defensive player of the year award after a season that his coach described as the greatest any defensive lineman has ever had in NFL history.

What is surprising is that Peterson and Watt are the only unanimous All-Pros. Specifically, the decision of one voter not to include Lions receiver Calvin Johnson is a head-scratcher. Johnson didn’t just lead the league in receiving, he led the league in receiving by a whopping 366 yards, while breaking Jerry Rice’s record for receiving yards in a season.

And All-Pro voters select two wide receivers on their ballots, so whoever didn’t vote for Johnson thinks there were at least two wide receivers who were better than Johnson last season. That’s hard to understand. I contacted the Associated Press to ask which voter did not select Johnson, but I have not yet received a reply.

Whoever that voter is, I’d be interested in hearing his or her explanation. If you watched football last season and thought you saw two receivers better than Megatron, I have to question what you were watching.

UPDATE 2:30 p.m. ET: The Associated Press has confirmed that former NFL player Tim Ryan, who works for FOX Sports and SiriusXM, was the one voter who did not put Calvin Johnson on his All-Pro team.

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71 Responses to “Adrian Peterson, J.J. Watt are unanimous All-Pros, Megatron is not”
  1. woodg8 says: Jan 12, 2013 11:18 AM

    Calvin’s garbage yarded season didn’t even end up with 10 TDs

    B-Marsh should have been the unanimous one at WR

  2. jakec4 says: Jan 12, 2013 11:19 AM

    Megatron is one of the best players in the NFL no doubt, but how many of those yards and receptions came against soft defenses who already had the game won.

  3. benroethlisberger7 says: Jan 12, 2013 11:21 AM

    The fact that there are no Steelers on the first team speaks to the legitimacy of these “honors”.

  4. unrulyondamic says: Jan 12, 2013 11:21 AM

    Not sure why being “unanimous” makes any difference…

  5. dkrauss93 says: Jan 12, 2013 11:25 AM

    I expect Mark Sanchez on this list

  6. bluepike says: Jan 12, 2013 11:27 AM

    Garbage yards? Detroit was in every game except one – he was double teamed constantly. The voter who left Calvin off is clearly demonstrating a case of “spiteful hate”.

  7. blackandbluedivision says: Jan 12, 2013 11:27 AM

    How many of those other All-Pros were on a winning team?

  8. blacknole08 says: Jan 12, 2013 11:28 AM

    Much of Megatron’s yards came when they were trailing and he had less than 10 TDs. AND he was the Lions only legit wideout, with everyone else on IR. And he played on a losing team.

    So of course his numbers will be padded.

  9. stikolaboloni says: Jan 12, 2013 11:33 AM

    Soft defenses really? I’ve never seen a pro receiver face what was essentially punt coverage with two defenders shadowing him from the line of scrimmage every play

  10. themagicfanguy says: Jan 12, 2013 11:36 AM

    How many times was Calvin targeted by Stafford, compared to any other receiver on the team? I’d vote for Megatron, but when the Lions don’t run the ball and ONLY throw to one guy of course he’s gonna get crazy yardage numbers.

  11. johnnycash19 says: Jan 12, 2013 11:36 AM

    To the people saying Megatron had a bunch of “garbage” yards

    I went onto ProFootball Reference and looked it up.
    Calvin Johnson had 1294 yards in the 1st,2nd and 3rd quarters.
    He had 627 yards in the 4th quarter and 43 yards in OT.

    And just looking at the Lions schedule, they only lost a game by more than one possession, 3 times. Minnesota, Arizona and Atlanta.
    So I don’t think their are to many “garbage” yards in Megatrons season.

    The fact of the matter is, if you don’t think Calvin Johnson is one of the top 2 WR’s in the league, you probably shouldn’t be voting for an All Pro player.

  12. coin4me says: Jan 12, 2013 11:37 AM

    I can honestly saw I saw every Detroit lions game and can clearly say Megatron was not himself this season. With the # of drops, tackles at the within the 5-yd line and lack of TD’s you could say that he didn’t have his best year. But if a guy can break the all time receiving yds record and not be atbhis best he should be considered head and shoulders above all other WRs.

  13. groleo45 says: Jan 12, 2013 11:41 AM

    blacknole08 says:
    Jan 12, 2013 11:28 AM
    Much of Megatron’s yards came when they were trailing and he had less than 10 TDs. AND he was the Lions only legit wideout, with everyone else on IR. And he played on a losing team.

    ————————————————–
    All the more impressive then, no? He was obviously double covered at all times with almost no threat of a running game. On the other side was the eminent deep threat Brian Robiske. This to me makes his numbers even more impressive given he was the only real concern for the defense.

  14. lionsplayoffs says: Jan 12, 2013 11:42 AM

    This is roughly equivalent to Stafford and his 5000 yards and 41 TD’s being overlooked for the pro bowl last year.

  15. eja642 says: Jan 12, 2013 11:43 AM

    “@blackandbluedivision

    How many of those other All-Pros were on a winning team?”

    All of the first team except for Jahri Evans and Cameron Wake. What’s your point?

  16. masamune952 says: Jan 12, 2013 11:43 AM

    also megatron was tackled at the one yard line 6 times this year…therefore the lions were tied for sixth..SIXTH in the nfl in rushing touchdowns..

  17. beerndrums says: Jan 12, 2013 11:45 AM

    AP got roided up for this season

  18. bcdc26 says: Jan 12, 2013 11:46 AM

    It is a bit surprising that with as many catches and yards that Johnson ended up with that he couldn’t get more TDs. With a panel of 50 people I’m not totally surprised that maybe just 1 person voted against him. Not to say that I personally don’t feel he’s deserving, if you out-do Jerry Rice in any statistical category you’re an all-pro

  19. charliebooms says: Jan 12, 2013 11:47 AM

    Garbage yards or not, over 1900 yards while being doubled and tripled teamed all year is amazing. This is a bigger joke then the Baseball Hall of Fame.

  20. seahawkfan4evr says: Jan 12, 2013 11:47 AM

    Richard Sherman made all pro but not pro bowl.

  21. dirtyjersey9er says: Jan 12, 2013 11:48 AM

    “How many of those other pro bowlers were on winning teams?”

    First Team: 24
    Second Team: 17(18 if you count Justin Smith twice)

  22. eatitfanboy says: Jan 12, 2013 11:50 AM

    The voter who didn’t vote for Johnson should have their vote taken away.

    For those parroting the national talking heads about “garbage yards”, you most likely watched one Lions game- the one where he broke the record. The Lions were actually in just about every other game they played.

    And the real head scratcher is the guy who said he piled up yards because he was their “only legit wideout”.

    Um….yeah. That’s the way to pile up yards- play on a team where you are the only player on the field the defense has to worry about. Lol.

  23. packhawk04 says: Jan 12, 2013 11:52 AM

    Calvin johnson’s season is what bill parcells meant when he said “insignificant yardage.”

  24. andreweac says: Jan 12, 2013 11:55 AM

    The 2012 Jets were Rex’s most talented team. I expect at least 5 All pro players as Rex is an amazing talent evaluator, right?

  25. thatneuneu says: Jan 12, 2013 11:55 AM

    J. J. Watt, Houston fans, enjoy that level of play before we all find out the new Performance Enhancing Drug he used this year….tends to come to light eventually…

  26. piratesofthecoliseum says: Jan 12, 2013 11:57 AM

    The only 2 wrs that come to mind is Brandon Marshall and maybe Dez Bryant bcuz of his 2 half of the season & thats a stretch too (probably a writer from Dallas lol)…B.Marshall for sure tho, the guy was a beast this year!!

  27. slyordie says: Jan 12, 2013 11:57 AM

    Geno Atkins should have been unanimous as well.

  28. teal379 says: Jan 12, 2013 11:59 AM

    benroethlisberger7 says:
    Jan 12, 2013 11:21 AM
    The fact that there are no Steelers on the first team speaks to the legitimacy of these “honors”.

    You are completely correct but it doesn’t help the case you were trying to make….

  29. skinzfan10 says: Jan 12, 2013 12:00 PM

    blacknole08 says:
    Jan 12, 2013 11:28 AM
    Much of Megatron’s yards came when they were trailing and he had less than 10 TDs. AND he was the Lions only legit wideout, with everyone else on IR. And he played on a losing team.

    ______________________

    Him being the only legit threat in their passing game makes what he did this season that much more impressive.

  30. billsboy88 says: Jan 12, 2013 12:00 PM

    “The fact that there are no Steelers on the first team speaks to the legitimacy of these “honors”.”

    Ok, please explain to me which members of the steelers you feel deserve first team honors from this season. There wasn’t a single one of them that was the best in the NFL at their respective position.

  31. tres79 says: Jan 12, 2013 12:01 PM

    I will unanimously take him on my team anytime!

  32. mjkelly77 says: Jan 12, 2013 12:01 PM

    I’m wondering who the Lion-hater is myself.

  33. forevercorr says: Jan 12, 2013 12:04 PM

    I think we were lucky to see 3 players excel beyond belief this year, and you can try to make any claims you want as to why Megatron isn’t deserving, but the fact that he is one of the few players to excel on his team should not be one of them. Neither should the fact that the Lions were playing from behind hurt him. Calvin is one of the few reasons why the Lions even stayed in any of their games, and Mikel Leshoure would have had about half of his TDs without Megatron moving the ball. Ask any DB in the NFL who they most dread going one-on-one against and the answer will almost always be Megatron. The fact is, if you’re a football fan, you should enjoy the fact that we get to witness some of the greatest players at their positions these days. Stop hating. Start appreciating.

  34. fightingirish48 says: Jan 12, 2013 12:04 PM

    Does it really matter when he gots his stats? The guy was double and triple covered every play and he was still unstoppable. Td’s are a fluky stat. James Jones led the nfl in receiving tds. I don’t think he will be making any all pro teams any time soon. Ask Larry Fitzgerald how being the only legit wideout on a losing team that was always trailing worked out for his stats.

  35. mjkelly77 says: Jan 12, 2013 12:06 PM

    Calvin Johnson had 5 TD’s and 11 games of 100+ yards. He was prevented from scoring more by being tackled on the 1 yard line 5 or 6 times. It’s tough when you’re constantly double and sometimes triple covered.

  36. sowcrates says: Jan 12, 2013 12:08 PM

    Question: Does Megatron come close to the yardage record if Matt Stafford didn’t shatter the record for pass attempts in a single season by 36?

    Answer: No.

    Question: Did Marshall and Green both have more than twice as many touchdowns as Megatron?

    Answer: Yes.

    It’s not a sign of disrespect, just a sign of statistical incongruence. It took 8 weeks for Megatron to hit paydirt more than twice. Jerry Rice added 15 scores to his record-setting year in 1995.

  37. mjkelly77 says: Jan 12, 2013 12:09 PM

    Ahhhhh, it’s the Madden Curse. Calvin would have had 3,000 receiving yards and scored 30 touchdowns.

  38. akshunj says: Jan 12, 2013 12:16 PM

    Haters gonna hate

  39. ninjapleazee says: Jan 12, 2013 12:18 PM

    As a Bears fan… All hail Megatron!

  40. gthog61 says: Jan 12, 2013 12:24 PM

    You people who are knocking Calvin Johnson’s yardage are morons.

    I am sure he broke the yardage record because he had the most favorable situation of any wide receiver in the league ever.

    I swear, I don’t understand how some people clothe themselves in the morning to face the day.

  41. eatitfanboy says: Jan 12, 2013 12:25 PM

    Well, I guess according to some of the posters on here, Plaxico Burress had a better season in 2011 than all of the following recievers:

    Larry Fitzgerald
    Julio Jones
    AJ Green
    Steve Smith
    Brandon Marshall
    Hakeem Nicks
    Mike Wallace
    Roddy White
    Marquis Colston

    After all, they all had less touchdowns than Plaxico.

  42. gosuhgo says: Jan 12, 2013 12:27 PM

    Calvin only had 80 yards receiving when down by 14 or more so everyone can kindly shut the hell up about garbage yards fron teams that had stopped trying.

  43. labfan30 says: Jan 12, 2013 12:32 PM

    Sorry, anyone who watched more than a game of football this year and did not put Calvin Johnson, Geno Atkins or Von Miller on their ballot should simply lose their vote.

    I mean, this isn’t even a discussion. Really, I respect people when they have smart, educated opinions. But there is simply no way you can explain not giving a vote to 5 guys this year unless you are a complete homer or an idiot.

    Miller had 48 votes, and somehow, Askins had only 42. So 8 people decided he wasn’t the best at his position this year. Seriously?

  44. mrwright313 says: Jan 12, 2013 12:32 PM

    I wonder if everyone justifying this vote against reality would hold these positions if CJ played for their teams. Someone mentioned Dez Bryant ffs!

    Fact: CJ struggled through knee problems, had a major case of the dropsies, had little to no help in the passing game from TE’s or WR’s, the o-line sucked more than usual this year, and double teams were rare for him.

    Also he may or may not suffered from some kind of nerve damage/stinger mid season, along with a concussion.

    That being said, line up Lions haters and list WR’s you think had better seasons than Megatron (even though there were none) You’d be hard pressed to name ten PLAYERS that had a better 2013, and he had an off year.

  45. steelers4385 says: Jan 12, 2013 12:42 PM

    Any moron who even has a thought to question if calvin is the best clearly isnt a fan of the game.

  46. sportsinhd says: Jan 12, 2013 12:44 PM

    Whoever didn’t vote for Megatron should have their vote for next year taken away. He is hands down the best receiver in the NFL.

  47. isphet71 says: Jan 12, 2013 12:44 PM

    Did Chris Carter get a vote? He can name at least 5 guys he would take before Calvin.

  48. daknight93 says: Jan 12, 2013 12:45 PM

    Calvin Johnson=MEGATRON IS A BEAST!

  49. wludford says: Jan 12, 2013 1:04 PM

    While Megatron is clearly an All-Pro, there is no doubt most of his yardage was late in the game, when defenses were playing a soft prevent defense.

    If most of Megatron’s yardage came in the 1st half, he would’ve had a much bigger impact.

  50. ndamus4 says: Jan 12, 2013 1:13 PM

    The only reason he did not have more td’s us because he is the only reciever in the league who has 2 designated defenders on him at the line of scrimmage every play from 5 yards in. Name one other wr that gets this coverage? It only makes football sense to go elsewhere to score because the defense has one less relevent defender ti the rest of the play.

  51. bleedgreen11 says: Jan 12, 2013 1:15 PM

    As it should be. Both of those guys played crucial roles in helping their team reach the playoffs.

  52. higgy1 says: Jan 12, 2013 1:30 PM

    The number one problem with All-pro voting is the media !

  53. higgy1 says: Jan 12, 2013 1:31 PM

    The pro-bowl and All-pro voting is a joke.

  54. kindasporty says: Jan 12, 2013 1:59 PM

    Wow some people act like Megatron is a scrub because he got a lot of yards while the other team was winning. Well first off, the Lions were in a lot of the games. Second off, he is not the first receiver to ever play on a bad team that passes a lot. He is however, the only one to put up the yardage numbers that he did. Like any record, there is going to be a combination of luck and skill involved. But because he got a little bit of luck (if you can call losing luck), doesn’t mean there wasn’t a ton of skill.

  55. jtmartinez34 says: Jan 12, 2013 2:03 PM

    Calvin is a beast. No doubt. But, he had 5 TDs. 5. They won 4 games. Just because his yardage stats were absurd doesn’t mean he should be unanimous. I am certain most teams game planned the lions to only limit Calvin and scoring, which resulted in wins for them and loses for the Lions. No game plan shutdown scoring impact with JJ or Adrian. They moved the chains or stopped them from moving and won. On the garbage yard theory, if Calvin’s stats are mainly between the 20′s, there is an answer. If the Lions lost games by small margins, does not mean they were in all those games. Many of the games, teams were up by 2 possession leads and gave yardage to the Lions, in between the 20′s, in exchange for time of the clock. Hence Gruden’s “meaningless” comment.

  56. hatesycophants says: Jan 12, 2013 2:10 PM

    As has been pointed out, this “garbage time” yards meme is a farce. Doesn’t take much thought to parrot the ramblings of other idiots who did zero research before spouting that nonsense.

    He’s better than every receiver on your team. Accept it.

  57. snowpea84 says: Jan 12, 2013 2:14 PM

    There are people here talking about garbage numbers. Every receiver gets some garbage numbers. The fact that he broke the receiving record speaks for itself. Then add in the fact that Johnson was the only player on the field they were bothering to cover and they still couldn’t stop him…
    As for the TD argument…it helps to be near the end zone more often if you want TD’s. They had to get him the ball to get down the field, and then there was nowhere left for him to go to get away from the entire defense watching him.

  58. jg725 says: Jan 12, 2013 2:24 PM

    steelers4385 says:
    Jan 12, 2013 12:42 PM
    Any moron who even has a thought to question if calvin is the best clearly isnt a fan of the game.

    wow – finally a steeler fan who is realistic – really – emanuel sanders and antonio brown are not better than calvin johnson??? – i’m shocked…….

  59. allen227 says: Jan 12, 2013 2:24 PM

    The two best players on each side of the ball this year.

  60. blacknole08 says: Jan 12, 2013 2:29 PM

    I’m not disagreeing with anyone as far as Megatron being the best WR in the NFL.

    But I can’t overlook the fact that he scored just 5 TDs this season. All of those receiving yards and you score only 5? You have to admit that he had an off year even with all the yards.

    Last season, Johnson won games in the 4th quarter. He was clutch. This season, not so much.

    I would have voted for him, but I understand why he got snubbed.

  61. waterfalldungeon says: Jan 12, 2013 2:31 PM

    HE DID NOT HAVE GARBAGE YARDS!

    Anyone who THINKS that he racked up yards against soft defenses when the Lions were losing ARE 100 PERCENT IGNORANT!

    IT’S NOT TRUE!

    You people are just ASSUMING that without looking at the facts.

    He had less than 100 yards LESS THAN 100, when the Lions were behind by more than 14 points.

    The Lions almost won the majority of their games. Calvin Johnson was double teamed ALMOST ALL THE TIME!!!

    And the TD argument AGAIN, is an argument from the IGNORANT who obviously have NO IDEA that Calvin Johnson was down at the 1 yard line SIX TIMES! Yes, six times.

    The idiot media fool who did not vote for Johnson probably made that decision having never seen the Lions play and opted to make an IGNORANT decision.

    So to all you IGNORANT people out there making INACCURATE assumptions about Calvin Johnson’s season. . . you should check the fact first because when you don’t you EXPOSE yourselves as the IGNORANT FOOLS that you are!

    Nuff’ said?

  62. kgs69 says: Jan 12, 2013 2:44 PM

    stikolaboloni says: Jan 12, 2013 11:33 AM

    I’ve never seen a pro receiver face what was essentially punt coverage with two defenders shadowing him from the line of scrimmage every play
    —————————————————–

    Then you never watched Randy Moss play in his prime. He faced this every year for most of his career.

  63. johnnytarr says: Jan 12, 2013 2:46 PM

    johnnycash19 says:
    Jan 12, 2013 11:36 AM
    To the people saying Megatron had a bunch of “garbage” yards

    I went onto ProFootball Reference and looked it up.
    Calvin Johnson had 1294 yards in the 1st,2nd and 3rd quarters.
    He had 627 yards in the 4th quarter and 43 yards in OT.

    And just looking at the Lions schedule, they only lost a game by more than one possession, 3 times. Minnesota, Arizona and Atlanta.
    So I don’t think their are to many “garbage” yards in Megatrons season.

    The fact of the matter is, if you don’t think Calvin Johnson is one of the top 2 WR’s in the league, you probably shouldn’t be voting for an All Pro player.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Stop confusing people with FACTS !!!

  64. dgcaz says: Jan 12, 2013 3:15 PM

    I am so sick of this Peyton Manning crap; he is a very good player, but Brady had a better year than he did, and Rodgers had a much better year that he did.

    Who are these voters? Are they little school girls? Seriously, take the emotion of his comeback out of the equation, and vote the way it’s intended. He is NOT the best QB playing right now, he’s third at best.

    He’ll probably win MVP, when he should finish no better than fourth.

    AD, Rodgers, Brady, Manning.

  65. eightandeightlions says: Jan 12, 2013 3:19 PM

    waterfalldungeon says: Jan 12, 2013 2:31 PM

    HE DID NOT HAVE GARBAGE YARDS!
    ====================================

    How many non-garbage yards are there in a 4 win season? Are there any?

    Tim Ryan of Fox Sports, and Moving the Chains on Sirius left him off the list, and with good reason. Ryan is a football genius and knows what he is talking about.
    Johnson had a bad/average season, there is no way to dispute that, setting records in yardage means squat when you are throwing more than anyone in the history of the planet, and in the end it all accounted for zero of their 4 wins. He couldn’t get it done in the end zone, no way to dispute that when he sets the record for yards, yet does nothing else.

    Also: No 4 win team “almost” won most of their games.. I would say they “almost” went 0-16 again, that is much more logical statisticly.

  66. bkostela says: Jan 12, 2013 3:31 PM

    to all the posters saying calvin “almost” had more touchdowns – apparently no other receivers in the league get tackled at the 1-yd line. or perhaps there should be a new stat category for that, so that Calvin can have the lead in it. he only had 5 touchdowns, quit trying to justify it.

    that said, touchdowns are not the all-telling stat that everyone should be measured by. i would like to see the two receivers on Tim Ryan’s ballot. my guess is Andre Johnson and Brandon Marshall, both of who had fantastic (but not record-setting) seasons. i don’t see how he left Calvin off unless he just selected ‘Johnson’ and didn’t bother to look at the first name.

  67. skarfacci says: Jan 12, 2013 3:57 PM

    The other receiver should be Wes Welker.

  68. purplepunisher says: Jan 12, 2013 8:58 PM

    When you say your prayers tonight, thank god you were alive to see Adrian Peterson play. Simply the best NFL player of all time

  69. purplepridehasadownside says: Jan 13, 2013 12:09 PM

    Why does he have the nickname ‘Megatron’??? Never understood this…

  70. tokyosandblaster says: Jan 14, 2013 2:21 PM

    Peterson had a good year. If what you all say is true, and the Packers defense is terrible, and they held him to 99 yards, and showed “better” defenses how to slow him, he won’t get close to where he was this year.

    Regression for the vikings. 8-8 at best.

  71. pack13queens0 says: Jan 20, 2013 4:35 PM

    Shouldn’t Adrian Peterson have to forfeit his award due to his legal troubles?

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