Friday, December 23, 2011
Calvin Johnson's season in context
By Kevin Seifert
MegatronWatch was fun while it lasted. For most of the first half of this season, Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson was catching touchdown passes at a historic pace. Alas, Johnson won't break the record of 23 touchdown receptions set by Randy Moss in 2007, but Johnson has still put himself in elite company with two games remaining in the regular season.
The chart shows the seven other players in NFL history who have matched or exceeded Johnson's across-the-board production this season; it currently stands at 81 catches, 1,335 yards and 14 touchdowns. Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice did it four times, while Moss, Marvin Harrison and Terrell Owens each did it twice.
NFL passing games have grown more prolific over the past two decades, making it difficult to compare gross numbers over various time periods. But that's not Johnson's fault. Even if he doesn't catch a pass for the rest of the season, I think we can say that Johnson has had one of the most productive seasons by a wide receiver in NFL history.