Friday, December 30, 2011
MegatronWatch: 1,500 yards and 15 TDs
By Kevin Seifert
Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson's exceptional game in Week 16 merits an update of the post we originally published last Friday.
Johnson caught four passes for 102 yards and a touchdown, including a 46-yard pass play on the Lions' first play from scrimmage. That brought his season totals to 85 receptions, 1,437 yards and 15 scores.
The chart shows that only three other receivers in NFL history have matched or exceeded that across-the-board production. Johnson didn't practice Wednesday or Thursday this week because of a sore Achilles, but if he plays Sunday against the Green Bay Packers, he'll need 63 receiving yards to have the fifth-ever season that includes 1,500 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns.
We all know that Johnson has had an exceptional season, but to me it's important to put in context and measure it based on past precedent. Obviously, players who began their careers after the 1978 conversion to 16 games have an advantage in this measure. But through that lens, we can say with confidence that Johnson has had one of the best seasons for a receiver in NFL history.