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Jim Schwartz: Megatron's absence did not affect Lions


It was evident to everyone watching the Detroit Lions' offense attempt to move the ball in the 22-9 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday that Calvin Johnson's absence made a huge difference in the contest.

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The Packers moved their safeties into the box to slow down Reggie Bush and didn't need to double-team any of the Lions' receivers.

In some of the worst coach-speak we've heard in a long time, Lions coach Jim Schwartz told reporters that Megatron not playing didn't affect the game.

"Calvin wasn't one of our 46 (active players) today," he said following the game. "You can't say he affected the outcome, he wasn't one of the guys on the field. We had 46 guys on the field and those were the guys that affected the outcome of the game."

Maybe Schwartz was trying to convey that since the Lions had lost 21 straight games to Green Bay in Wisconsin before Sunday, having Johnson in the game wouldn't have changed who won?

Surely he's not trying to say that missing one of the NFL's best wide receivers didn't impact how the game was played.

With Megatron on the field through the first four weeks of the 2013 season, the Lions used 11 personnel (one running back, one tight end and three wide receivers) 66.4 percent of the time, according to Pro Football Focus. PFF had them using the package Sunday on just 33.8 percent of plays.

Even Green Bay's players noticed the difference.

"It definitely changes their offense," quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. "He's a dynamic player, one of the top five players in the league, and not having him out there definitely helped our cause."

The lack of capable receivers was evident. Perhaps more depressing for Lions fans is that 2012 second-round draft pick Ryan Broyles didn't step up in Megatron's absence. In fact, he was rarely given a chance.

The second-year pro had just two caches for 27 yards (his only two targets). According to PFF, Broyles ran just 15 routes, while Kris Durham (46) and Patrick Edwards (41) played the majority of passing snaps.

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