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Stevie Johnson Earning Praise For Strong Start

Strong praise is still rolling in for the Buffalo Bills' offense following their 37-34 overtime loss to the Baltimore Ravens three days ago. That praise still holds a lot of skepticism - as it should, considering the Bills are 0-6. There's skepticism that the Bills will be able to consistently repeat that type of performance this year. There's skepticism that Ryan Fitzpatrick is capable of putting up numbers like those more than once in a blue moon.

One player that has escaped skepticism, for the most part, is third-year wide receiver Stevie Johnson - and Football Outsiders takes it a step further in examining the top performers from Week 7. (Johnson graded out as FO's third-best receiver on the week, behind Kenny Britt and Roddy White.)

After covering Johnson's eight-catch, 158-yard, one-touchdown performance in Baltimore, Bill Barnwell writes: "Despite playing in one of the league's worst passing attacks, Johnson is a legit NFL player, and one of the guys the woeful Bills will try and rebuild around over the next couple of seasons."

That's fairly high praise, considering Johnson has just six games with extensive playing time under his belt. Whether or not Johnson is deemed good enough to start opposite Lee Evans for the foreseeable future remains to be seen, but Barnwell's conclusion seems fairly universal at this point: Johnson has proven that he belongs in the NFL, and is here to stay.

Through six games, Johnson leads the Bills in receptions (25), yards (372) and touchdowns (5). That puts him on pace for a 67-catch, 992-yard, 13-TD season. Johnson was also an honorable mention on Football Outsiders' list of Top 25 prospects this past July.