In 1995 San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice had a monster season, even for him. This is a guy who is considered the greatest ever at that position, but his ’95 season was better than any other in his Hall of Fame career.
Rice grabbed 122 passes that season, 15 of those were touchdowns. He amassed a NFL record 1,848 receiving yards. The National Football League had never seen receiving yards like that before…or since…until now.
Calvin Johnson aka Megatron has eclipsed the 1,848 with one game to spare. His 26-yard catch from Matt Stafford with 3:04 left in the game put his 2012 season at a whopping 1,871 yards.
In Rice’s record season he averaged 116.5 receiving yards per game at home, and 114.5 on the road. Megatron averages 124 receiving yards per game at home, and it may surprise you to see him at 125 yards per game on the road.
The difference in Johnson’s last two seasons is the touchdowns. When Rice scored, the Niners won football games. 14 of his 15 touchdowns came in the 49ers 11 wins in 1995. For Johnson, the Lions are 0-5 when he catches a touchdown in 2012 (odd…last season they were 8-3 when Johnson scored).
Johnson had just five 2011 games where he did not catch a touchdown pass, but in 2012 (including the zero he had tonight) he has nine scoreless games (and counting?). 2011 Johnson had five multi-touchdown games, 2012 Johnson has zero such games. Massive season, but odd drop in touchdown production for the 2012 Megatron.
Johnson is at 116 catches and 1,871 yards, and it is great that he got the record with time to spare. The Lions are at home next weekend against a Chicago Bears team that will need to win that game. In their week 7 loss to the Bears Johnson was targeted 11 times, but had just three catches for 34 yards (season lows).
Congratulations to the new record holder, Calvin Johnson Jr.
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