Why Calvin Johnson Won't Set a New Receiving Yards Record in 2013

By Andrew Fisher
Calvin Johnson
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Calvin Johnson had one of the best football seasons in history last year. The ultra-talented wide receiver racked up an amazing 1,964 yards through the air, surpassing the previous record of 1,848 set by Jerry Rice back in 1995. While it was a tremendous year for Johnson and his quarterback Matthew Stafford, it was an incredibly disappointing year for the rest of the Detroit Lions, as the team only managed to post four wins.

Recording-breaking seasons are great, but I’m sure Johnson would have traded his 2012 numbers for a playoff berth, any day of the week. A postseason appearance is again the expectation in the Motor City in 2013, after the team went out and signed the explosive Reggie Bush.

Many people are now jumping back on the Detroit bandwagon, simply because Bush will make them that much more dynamic on offense. But what does it mean for Megatron?

I’m confident in saying that there’s no way Johnson breaks his own receiving yards record this season. Not that he doesn’t have enough talent and skills to get the job done again, it’s just that there won’t be as many balls thrown his way. With Bush now on the roster, there’s going to be less touches for everyone on the Lions’ offense. This isn’t a bad thing, though, because he should ultimately make Johnson more effective. While he did set a receiving yards record, Megatron only found the end zone five times in 2012. This is a number that will surely increase in 2013.

Megatron shouldn’t need to flirt with 2,000 yards for this offense to be effective. The Lions will have more success by spreading the ball around, and not going to the well every time they need to with Johnson. Just with the addition of Bush alone, I think Megatron’s receiving yards will drop. At the same time, the matchup nightmares Bush will create, should allow Johnson to get open on a much more regular basis.

Decreased numbers won’t exactly be a bad thing for Johnson, because it should mean that more members of the Lions’ offense are getting involved, which is ultimately what the team needs to be a real threat in this year’s NFC.


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