The Detroit Lions have a reputation for being consistently bad. Their pathetic performance on the gridiron has lasted for over two decades and caused the team to miss every NFC playoff since 1991. However, the Lions currently have the best record in the NFC, and a 4-0 start for the first time in 31 years.

Calvin Johnson’s late game heroics are one of the main reasons the Lions are off to such a good start. Johnson has scored two touchdowns in every game this season and made several awe-inspiring catches.

During the Oct. 1 game against the Dallas Cowboys, the Lions were down 27-3 and Johnson had only three catches. But quarterback Matthew Stafford finally decided to incorporate Johnson by making an effort to throw him the ball on the majority of plays during the 4th quarter. The Lions rally became a full-fledged comeback after Stafford threw a Hail Mary to Johnson, who was covered by three Cowboys in the end zone. If Stafford threw that same ball to any other player in the NFL beside Johnson, it would have surely led to an interception. But Johnson, who stands an impressive 6-foot-6, out jumped the Cowboys’ three defenders to secure the touchdown. Johnson scored another touchdown with nearly two minutes remaining in the game to lead the Lions to a 34-30 victory.

It’s too early in the season to suggest that the Lions are Super Bowl contenders, but they are well on their way to earning a spot in the playoffs thanks to Johnson’s MVP-like play. –amir shaw

A.R. Shaw

A.R. Shaw is an author and journalist who documents culture, politics, and entertainment. He has covered The Obama White House, the summer Olympics in London, and currently serves as Lifestyle Editor for Rolling Out magazine. Follow his journey on Twitter @arshaw and Instagram @arshaw23.