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Calvin Johnson threatens single-season receiving yardage record

Detroit Lions v Minnesota Vikings Getty Images

Thursday’s loss to the Texans ended any realistic hope the Lions had of returning to the playoffs this season. But it also reinforced that the Lions are getting their money’s worth out of the enormous contract they gave receiver Calvin Johnson in March.

Johnson, who had eight catches for 140 yards and a touchdown on Thursday, now has 1,257 receiving yards through 11 games this season. That puts him on pace for 1,828 yards on the season, which would top his NFL-leading total from 2011 by 147 yards.

A total of 1,828 yards would also be the second-best single-season total in NFL history, behind only Jerry Rice’s total of 1,848 yards in 1995. If Johnson picks up the pace a bit over the final five games of the season (and he’s trending in the right direction, with a whopping 619 yards in the last four games), he’ll break Rice’s record.

That would be an amazing accomplishment. Rice is generally recognized as the best receiver ever to play the game, and he was at his best in 1995, playing on an excellent offense with a Hall of Fame quarterback passing to him in Steve Young. If any receiving number would seem to be safe in the pass-happy modern NFL, it’s that one.

But Johnson has a good chance of breaking it.

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52 Responses to “Calvin Johnson threatens single-season receiving yardage record”
  1. endzone says: Nov 24, 2012 5:30 PM

    And Plus Megatron breaks the Madden Curse. You Go Tron!

  2. logicalvoicesays says: Nov 24, 2012 5:34 PM

    Top 5 WRs in the NFL : Calvin, Fitzgerald, Garçon, Andre Johnson and Santana Moss.

  3. redruckus81 says: Nov 24, 2012 5:35 PM

    As a Lions fan Im happy that Calvin is starting to really come on but I would rather he was threatening the single season TD record.

  4. scoregasmic says: Nov 24, 2012 5:37 PM

    Is that enough to put him as top 3 all time yet?

  5. lks311 says: Nov 24, 2012 5:37 PM

    When will that Madden Curse stop!

    Folks, “if you believe in things you don’t understand, you suffer…superstition is the word”.
    —Steveland Morris Wonder

  6. jmoonraker says: Nov 24, 2012 5:37 PM

    CJ is a stud. He will break most all receiving records during his career. He is a class act on and off the field. He deserves every record coming to him. Money well spent. And he is not even having the best year performance wise.

  7. piemasteruk says: Nov 24, 2012 5:41 PM

    It would be an amazing achievement if Johnson got the record and it couldn’t go to a more deserving player. But let’s not forget that Rice set the record in an era where QBs and receivers were much less protected than they are now. Not that this devalues Megatron’s figures in any way, but it just makes it more amazing that Rice’s records have stood for so long.

  8. supremekingz says: Nov 24, 2012 5:45 PM

    So much for the Madden Curse…

  9. doe22us says: Nov 24, 2012 5:46 PM

    1257 yards and with 5 games left, and the Lions playing for nothing, they may as well get that. I strongly believe he is breaking that record.

  10. mintberrycrunch1 says: Nov 24, 2012 5:47 PM

    And yet Titus Young is the Lions WR who is the diva. I hope CJ breaks it, Rice is hogging all the WR records!

  11. goraidersgospurs says: Nov 24, 2012 5:47 PM

    If he breaks the record this just proves the Madden……..never mind!!!!

  12. dustinq says: Nov 24, 2012 5:48 PM

    A positive story about a Lion??? Are you guys ok???

  13. cpo187 says: Nov 24, 2012 6:00 PM

    Chance, yes. Good chance…meh.

  14. bathroomben7 says: Nov 24, 2012 6:08 PM

    Him and Stafford are the ultimate garbage men. In 10 years they’ll be remembered more for being good in fantasy football than anything else.

  15. ravensdominate says: Nov 24, 2012 6:10 PM

    Megatron is a beast! Wish he was a Raven!

  16. bobhk says: Nov 24, 2012 6:15 PM

    If any receiving number would seem to be safe in the pass-happy modern NFL, it’s that one.
    ——
    Isn’t this the one record most likely to be broken, given the stats inflation.

  17. whitecastleisafoodgroup says: Nov 24, 2012 6:19 PM

    So the Lions have that going for them. I think they’d rather be in the playoffs.

  18. truthassassin says: Nov 24, 2012 6:22 PM

    Megatron needs to do this, pretty amazing opportunity

  19. mvpolamalu says: Nov 24, 2012 6:23 PM

    I know its a big early to say this, but to me there is no clear cut 2nd best reciever in nfl history. When its all said and done megatron might fill that hole

  20. coldplay519 says: Nov 24, 2012 6:28 PM

    Megatron is the best receiver in this league, and second place is not even close. Any discussion contrary to that truth is filler.

  21. nflfollower says: Nov 24, 2012 6:34 PM

    But…..but……but what about that Madden curse? Isn’t that a better storyline?

    Sorry, just had to get that off my chest since every time something other than great news gets published about Megatron some tool on here is spouting off about a fable.

  22. moosev says: Nov 24, 2012 6:35 PM

    Could u imagine Rice’s numbers in today’s pass happy league. Definitely would’ve had a 2k yard season. I hope Megatron stays healthy. He’s special! But there will never be another Jerry Rice.

  23. nflfollower says: Nov 24, 2012 6:38 PM

    I’d like to go back and watch some film. Something tells me Rice didn’t attract the attention Megatron does. Specifically a safety lined up 20 yards off the line of scrimmage as deep help, EVERY single play.

    You can’t even see it on TV they’re too deep, but watching the game films or watching in person, it’s incredible. The only WR who demands that every play. Not to take anything away from Rice, he holds nearly every single meaningful WR statistic, but Megatron is of a different mold.

  24. hatesycophants says: Nov 24, 2012 6:44 PM

    Just days ago you said he was underperforming in comparison to last season.

  25. pftusedtobemorefun says: Nov 24, 2012 6:56 PM

    First time posting but I’m guessing everyone just typically ignores bathroom ben and his moronic posts?

  26. tiggerblood says: Nov 24, 2012 7:03 PM

    Um AJ Green……. Not even close second? Must have the blinders on. If Fitzgerald had a QB he’d def be second. Moron

  27. Andre's Johnson says: Nov 24, 2012 7:28 PM

    It’s not entirely out of the question to think he could get to 2000 yards this season.

  28. thetokyosandblaster says: Nov 24, 2012 7:38 PM

    Like Adrian Peterson, he is wasting his career with a bad team.

    What a shame.

  29. commandercornpone says: Nov 24, 2012 7:44 PM

    lets look at the schedule.

    week 13 indy. #17 pass defense but getting healthier. he will get some yards. maybe on schedule.

    week 14. @GB. #20 pass defense and hurting without matthews and woodson. he will get more yards. perhaps ahead of schedule.

    this is where the concept breaks down, perhaps.

    week 15 @ARI. #4 pass defense. lucky to be on schedule. probly wont be.

    week 16 atl. #6 pass defense, likely behind schedule.

    week 17 chi. #7 pass defense. better hope they dont need the game. they probly will.

  30. celly84 says: Nov 24, 2012 7:53 PM

    all those who say, “but what about the curse” obviously dont understand how the curse works.

    it is NOT necessarily that the player will get injured.

    it has everything to do with that specific player and how it relates to the team this year in comparison to last year.

    remember when after last year, everyone talked about how this lions team would finally be a force to reckon with? they all said “look what Stafford can do when healthy.” everyone thought this was the sure fire year the lions go to the Superbowl considering how well they played (megatron specifically) last year.

    well, if you look at the real numbers, you know, the ones that help your team (td’s and wins) you can clearly see that the curse has taken effect, just like it always does.

    ask Calvin….considering how well this team played last year, would you be more happy with making the playoffs or being on a 4-7 team with no chance at the playoffs BUT a cancer to break Rice’s record?

  31. lakermetskins says: Nov 24, 2012 8:00 PM

    Jerry Rice also had all pro receivers, tight ends,running backs, and quarterbacks on his team. Opposing defenses could never concentrate their whole defense to stop Rice because of the talent elsewhere on offense. The 49ers were stacked everywhere, even on defense.

    That said, Rice is still the best football player of our generation. But Megatron might be the best of the new generation, especially when you consider the lack of talent around him and the attention he gets from all defenses.

  32. jcioffi1485 says: Nov 24, 2012 8:16 PM

    Megatron is a badass…no question about it…..and worth every penny.

    However, some clown listed the top 5 receivers and didn’t even mention A.J. Green. Imagine what his numbers would be if he was playing catch with Drew Brees or Tom Brady

  33. thetruth845 says: Nov 24, 2012 8:19 PM

    Michael David Smith, how is this record a safe one? Back when the record was set the rules were much different. No real implementation of the illegal contact rule, no penalties for just brushing a Qb on the pocket, etc. Sure Calvin may break this record but it won’t be as impressive as the old record under the old rule format. He’ll, 20 years ago a 3000+ yard passer was elite, now that stat is bottom of the barrel. Sanchez will throw for 3000 yards and he’s probably the 40th best Qb in the NFL, at best.

  34. chris6523 says: Nov 24, 2012 8:26 PM

    If Megatron has a couple of huge games, he could potentially threaten 2,000 yards.

  35. rwpsych16 says: Nov 24, 2012 8:38 PM

    This is like one of those MJ vs LeBron questions. The old guard says Rice is the best ever and there’s no comparison, and the younger generation says Megatron is a beast and physically superior to Rice. Bottom line is, just like MJ and LeBron, there is no way to know who would be better if they were on the field at the same time in their prime.

  36. johnnytarr says: Nov 24, 2012 8:50 PM

    How many games did Rice play in 1995?
    Was it a 16 game season.

  37. mtx1992 says: Nov 24, 2012 9:01 PM

    Too bad that, just like Barry Sanders, he’s wasting his talent on the Lions.

  38. justwannawinna says: Nov 24, 2012 9:56 PM

    Im just sayin knock on wood cuz i like the kid but something tella me hes in for a career changing injury that gets him at the least off the team and sets him back a two years, so dont go on and say there is no madden curse…it happened to everyone on that cover. Troy is still not the same

  39. brenenostler says: Nov 24, 2012 11:09 PM

    What Madden curse?

  40. richwizl says: Nov 24, 2012 11:10 PM

    TE’s and WR’s are like comparing apples and oranges. You can say one accounted for more yardage or catches, but you can’t compare them as athletes. Obviously, Johnson is unbelievably talented, but in a totally different way than Rice was.

  41. ss2k8 says: Nov 24, 2012 11:18 PM

    lakermetskins says:
    Nov 24, 2012 8:00 PM
    Jerry Rice also had all pro receivers, tight ends,running backs, and quarterbacks on his team. Opposing defenses could never concentrate their whole defense to stop Rice because of the talent elsewhere on offense. The 49ers were stacked everywhere, even on defense.

    Just so everybody knows, 1995 featured one of the worst backfields for the 49ers maybe ever (Derek Loville and Adam Walker), John Taylor was badly hobbled towards the end, Steve Young missed 5 games, and outside of tight end Brent Jones the next biggest weapon was rookie JJ Stokes. This all under a brand new offensive coordinator.

    Jerry also put up a career high 289 yards receiving against the Vikings on MNF after Taylor had left the game with injury and did it against constant triple teams.

  42. woodyg says: Nov 25, 2012 12:09 AM

    LOLions ….

    It’s bad when all you have (in a season) is a shot at some record that someday will be broken by someone else in the future.

    And amazingly Lion fans are all hyped about Megaphlion’s chances. …….. Records ?? ….. Don’t talk about records !! ….. Are you kidding me? …. Records ?? …. Lion fans should be talking about if they’ll ever win another game.

  43. mgifford15 says: Nov 25, 2012 12:21 AM

    Jerry Rice; Greatest of all time. No matter what. Dude played in a time when qbs and receivers got legally mauled. CJ is awesome no doubt, but even with numbers, he can’t rival the GOAT

  44. bobhk says: Nov 25, 2012 12:31 AM

    nflfollower says:
    Nov 24, 2012 6:38 PM
    I’d like to go back and watch some film. Something tells me Rice didn’t attract the attention Megatron does. Specifically a safety lined up 20 yards off the line of scrimmage as deep help, EVERY single play.

    You can’t even see it on TV they’re too deep, but watching the game films or watching in person, it’s incredible. The only WR who demands that every play. Not to take anything away from Rice, he holds nearly every single meaningful WR statistic, but Megatron is of a different mold.

    ——–
    Do you realize that when rice was playing they were allowed to touch wrs. Megatron is great but rice is far and away the best receiver in nfl history. Teams knew that the ball was going to him and still could not stop him.
    Let megatron produce at this level for a few more years before you put him near rice. I would also put moss ahead. It’s great to produce for a few years another to produce over a looong period of time.

  45. gcsuk says: Nov 25, 2012 12:43 AM

    logicalvoicesays says:
    Nov 24, 2012 5:34 PM
    Top 5 WRs in the NFL : Calvin, Fitzgerald, Garçon, Andre Johnson and Santana Moss.
    ———————————————————
    Oh, so close, “logical”. Had you said “Top 65 WR’s in the NFL”, you could have included Moss (65th in yards) but not Garcon, who is currently languishing at 120th.

    But, to be fair, not all the top receivers are WR’s. There are 12 TE’s and 1 RB that currently have more receiving yards than Santana Moss (you don’t EVEN want to know who’s ahead of Garcon…OK, one of them is Fred Davis!)

  46. joerymi says: Nov 25, 2012 1:08 AM

    Too bad that, just like Barry Sanders, he’s wasting his talent on the Lions.
    ———————————

    Barry never had an elite QB. Stafford isn’t elite yet, but he is only 24. In two seasons when we are discussing the top 3 QB’s in the league, I suspect he will be in the conversation.

  47. maddenisfordorks says: Nov 25, 2012 1:53 AM

    Megatron. RG III. Optimus Prime. Skeletor. Battle Cat.

    This is headed to a pass only league, dominated by men who are referred to as cartoon characters.

  48. ishudbgm says: Nov 25, 2012 2:37 AM

    Remember just a few years back when the Lions drafted a WR in the top 10 every year like it was an NFL rule or something. Well, back then most people told the Lions to stop drafting WRs and rightfully so….then this freak showed up at the NFL draft and everyone sat puzzled like should the Lions try ONE more time…..ABSOLUTELY YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  49. mrwright313 says: Nov 25, 2012 3:54 AM

    No comparison to Rice, Rice is the best WR of all time, but wouldn’t hold that title if he’d faced double and triple teams almost every snap of his career like Calvin has/does.

  50. omegaichiban says: Nov 25, 2012 6:50 AM

    He has been hurt this year, happens, they aren’t going to the playoffs this year, worse than last year. It’s hard to beat the Madden\Bobby Layne”?” coincidence

  51. wrossi81 says: Nov 25, 2012 7:22 AM

    Johnson should really be an example – a player who gets paid big-time and then goes and turns in the best performance he possibly can.

  52. WatchThis says: Nov 25, 2012 11:35 AM

    Not to mention, he’s a great guy off the field.

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