With two games left to go into the season, 182 receiving yards was all that stood in the way of Detroit Lions’ wide receiver Calvin Johnson to break Jerry Rice’s single-season record. Johnson ended up achieving this goal in only one game.
Though the Lions were crushed by the Atlanta Falcons Saturday evening by a score of 31-18, Johnson ended up surpassing Rice’s record. He finished the game with 11 catches for 225 yards, thus giving him a total of 1,892 yards this season. In fact, ‘Megatron’ has broken three NFL records and can add more receiving yards since the Lions still have one more game next week against the Chicago Bears.
Calvin Johnson, also known as ‘Megatron,’ was on pace going into tonight’s game to make history. Many NFL fans were watching the game for different reasons. Though the Falcons had made the playoffs, a win tonight would make them the top seed in the NFC and clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
The Lions, on the other hand, were out of playoff contention but one player had a chance to make history. Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin ‘Megatron’ Johnson needed 182 receiving yards to break San Francisco’s wide receiver Jerry Rice’s single season record.
When the game was finished, ‘Megatron’ not only accomplished breaking Rice’s record but broke two other NFL records as well. In breaking Rice’s season yardage mark, Johnson had his 11th 100-yard game of the season as well as having his eighth consecutive 100-yard game.
During an ESPN broadcast, Rice was interviewed via the telephone and said, “The thing about this is I believe records are meant to be broken. I’ll be the first one to really congratulate this guy because I know what he stands for. He’s a hard worker. He got the major contract and he’s still hungry, and he wants to get out there and prove to everybody that [he is] the best receiver to ever play the game.”
While the Lions loss was counting down to the end, history was made with 2:57 left in the game as Johnson broke Jerry Rice’s single-season record for receiving yardage by catching a 26-yard pass from Stafford. Once he made the catch, Johnson gave the ball to his father, Calvin Sr., who was watching from the sideline.
When asked after the game, Johnson said, “It’s an accomplishment that took a lot of work. You’re still in the moment — in the play that just happened, so I was still focused. I don’t think I even said anything when I gave my dad the ball. I just gave him a hug. But when I think back on it, it’s a special moment.”
Johnson also commented about the record-breaking catch by saying, “We had tried that route earlier, but it got walled off by the MIKE [linebacker, Will Witherspoon. We called the route again, and I just bounced it around — I was just like, ‘See the ball, see the ball.’ The guys were telling me that I was 4 or 5 yards away — everybody was keeping the record up.”
Unfortunately, Johnson’s record-breaking game was the only thing the Lions were able to celebrate as it came after having another disappointing loss. Detroit has made losing an unfortunate theme for this season; however, Calvin ‘Megatron’ Johnson has at least given the Detroit Lions fans something to cheer about this season.
Also, Johnson’s game has given fans a reason to watch next week’s game against the Minnesota Vikings as running back Adrian Peterson will be trying to reach a milestone of reaching 2,000 yards in a season. The Lions not only can play the spoiler but Johnson can also realistically reach that milestone.
Calvin Johnson Sets Receiving Record
Calvin Johnson and his father talk about passing Jerry Rice for the all time single-season receiving record.