The Houston Texans Thanksgiving Day overtime victory over the Detroit Lions featured a match-up of two of the best wide receivers in the NFL. The Lions’ Calvin Johnson and the Texans’ Andre Johnson had games worthy of their lofty statuses. Calvin, better known as Megatron, had eight receptions for 140 yards and a touchdown. Andre would one up him however, finishing with nine receptions for 188 yards and most importantly, a road win in Detroit’s annual Thanksgiving Day game.
Calvin had a big first half, staking the Lions to a seven point halftime lead with five catches for 103 yards and a score. With Houston’s top corner Johnathan Joseph sitting out with a hamstring injury, Megatron was having an early Thanksgiving feast on Houston’s secondary. He had three catches of 20 plus yards in that first half, which matched his high for an entire game this season. The Texans did a much better job of containing him in the second half, holding him to three catches for 37 yards.
In the second half and overtime, Andre was the one making the big plays as the Texans erased deficits of seven and ten points to come away with the 34-31 victory. The 188 receiving yards gave him 461 yards in his last two games. That two game total is the most inNFL history by a player in consecutive games. He broke Chad Johnson’s record of 450 yards set in 2005. It was the 42nd career 100 yard receiving day for Johnson and his fourth this season. His yardage total also was the second highest ever on Thanksgiving Day, trailing only Jim Benton’s 303 yards way back in 1945.
The superlatives don’t stop there for Johnson, who is having a remarkable bounce back season after missing seven games in an injury plagued 2011 season. He extended his franchise record of consecutive games with a reception to 93 games. He also passed Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk (726) for 26th on the all-time receptions list and passed up Keyshawn Johnson (10,571) for 31st on the all-time receiving yards list. Finally, he surpassed 1,000 receiving yards in a season for the sixth time in his career. His 1,058 yards this season is second only to Megatron’s 1,257.
Not only were the fans treated to a showdown of the top two receivers in yardage, they also got to witness the top two wide receivers in the NFL period. Many people would have laughed at that notion prior to the season. They figured that Andre was on the decline, that he was ‘old’ and had lost a step and that his best days were behind him. Johnson laughed at that notion during the pre-season, and some may have laughed at his response and doubted that he was still a game changing receiver.
Johnson is getting the last laugh in 2012. In his tenth season, he is continually setting or breaking his own franchise records, breaking NFL records, and displaying the skills that have made him one of the league’s best players the last decade. He became the first Texan to play ten years with the team and no doubt will be the first Texan enshrined into the Hall of Fame once he’s done. As of right now he’s far from done. Megatron has the Madden cover and is widely regarded as the best wideout in the game today. However, on Thanksgiving #80 upstaged him and continued to show his brilliance to those who forgot about Dre.