Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions was already seen as the best wide receiver in the league and now, at least on a single season basis, he holds the title as greatest receiver of all-time. Johnson broke Jerry Rice's 17-year-old single-season yardage record of 1,848 yards on Saturday night against the Atlanta Falcons, picking up 225 yards on the night to give him 1,892 yards on the season and the record.
A 26-yard reception late in the fourth quarter set off this reaction:
THERE IT IS! Calvin Johnson breaks Jerry Rice's single-season receiving record. You are the man, Megatron.— Pride Of Detroit (@PrideOfDetroit) December 23, 2012
Johnson entered Saturday night's game needing 182 yards to break Rice's record, set in 1995 for the San Francisco 49ers. Rice set the record with 122 receptions that season, but Johnson actually broke it with fewer catches, though Rice scored 15 touchdowns in 1995 to Johnson's five this year.
Johnson also set another NFL record for passing 100 yards receiving in eight consecutive games. It was the 11th time this season he surpassed 100 yards; that ties an NFL record also held by Michael Irvin.
Johnson has gone over 1,000 yards in four of his six NFL seasons, his previous career high for yardage being 1,681 last season. The 49ers won the NFC West during Rice's record-breaking season, losing in the playoffs to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers. Johnson's Detroit squad currently sits at 4-10, last place in the NFC North.