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Passing grades for WRs

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POSTED October 28, 2013 10:04 p.m.

For all the divas among NFL receivers, and there are plenty of them, there are just as many difference makers.

They showed themselves in impressive and, in Calvin Johnson’s case, incredible form on Sunday. Megatron’s meganumbers were so astounding that several Dallas defensive backs could do little more than shrug at how he dominated them in a scintillating 31-30 Lions victory.

Brandon Carr, a good cornerback who was left in single coverage on Johnson far too often in Dallas’ game plan, admitted he was “licking my wounds” after being torched all day.

“He had his way,” Carr said after Megatron mauled the Cowboys for 14 catches for 329 yards, the second most in an NFL game. “He is an incredible player with all the ability in the world. He had the hot hand and his quarterback kept feeding him. And, we couldn’t find a way to keep him from rolling.”

Receivers were rolling throughout the league with some of the most impressive performances in memory. Even on the other side at Ford Field was a dynamic (and definitely a diva, unlike Johnson) wideout in Dez Bryant, who had only three catches, but for 72 yards, with two TDs. His 24-yard average was higher than Johnson’s 23.5.

Bryant scored twice, including a 50-yard TD on a short pass when he broke through two attempted tackles.

Unlike Johnson, whose videos from Sunday display him leaving defenders in the dust or making spectacular grabs, Bryant’s highlights centered on his angry gesticulations on the sideline when the Cowboys were in the process of blowing a late lead.

“I’m passionate about this game, and I’m passionate about winning. My passion is always positive,” Bryant said. “People who have a problem with me are the people that don’t understand what is going on. The media and people who think I’m a problem — they don’t know what they are seeing.”

What everyone was seeing around the league, aside from Bryant racing to the end zone — and his subsequent rants — were breakouts by Pro Bowl receivers and newcomers. They deserve some attention in an era when quarterbacks hog the spotlight.

Green Bay’s Jordy Nelson, the lone accomplished wideout still healthy for the Packers, had seven catches for 123 yards and two touchdowns in a 44-31 win over Minnesota. He played in the slot, rare for him, as well as outside.

Cincinnati’s Marvin Jones, a second-year wideout from California, made eight catches for 122 yards and scored four touchdowns in a 49-9 rout of the Jets. Teammate A.J. Green grabbed only three throws from Andy Dalton, but gained 115 yards on them.

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