What's the more important Ravens matchup: Calvin Johnson or Reggie Bush?

Reggie Bush and Calvin Johnson figure to both be tough to stop this Monday night at Ford Field. - Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Which player is more important to stop Monday night?

The Lions bolstered their offense this offseason by adding running back Reggie Bush to a backfield that couldn't get much production form the position in 2012.

The results have been night and day. Bush has been a spark for a Lions' offense that ranks second in the NFL by averaging 409.6 total yards per game.

Bush has been tough in both the running and passing games as an explosive weapon in space. Bush has 854 rushing yards and three touchdowns on the ground, with an additional 448 receiving yards and two touchdowns. The Lions are 5-1 in games where Bush has run for at least 78 yards (the lone loss being an 83-yard effort in a loss to Tampa Bay).

In games where he's run for less than that — not including the two games he's been forced to sit out (a 1-1 record) — the Lions are 0-4.

When Bush gets going, the results indicate the Lions have a greater chance of winning.

Interestingly, when Johnson has had great individual performances, there isn't an indicator the Lions are on track to win. Not counting the one game he was forced to miss this season, the Lions are 3-4 when he records 100 yards or more. Detroit is 4-1 in games when Johnson fails to reach the 100-yard mark.

Perhaps that shows the Lions are striking a greater balance offensively in games when Johnson isn't getting the ball as frequently.

It's my opinion that Sunday's game will come down to how well the Ravens can contain Bush — assuming he plays with the calf injury. If the Ravens can contain Bush, it takes a dangerous weapon away on offense.

Johnson is going to make his plays. But Bush is the difference maker in Detroit.


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