Falcons vs. Lions 2012: Johnson's record makes for bittersweet loss in Detroit

Gregory Shamus

The Detroit Lions lost their seventh straight game Saturday night as they fell to the Atlanta Falcons, but Calvin Johnson's record-setting night gave fans something to cheer for.

Two different stories unfolded Saturday night in the Detroit Lions' loss to the Atlanta Falcons. One story was nothing more than just another chapter in what has turned into a long, dreadful season for the Lions. The other -- a tale for the NFL record books.

The loss on Saturday moves Detroit to 4-11 on the season and marks its seventh straight defeat. It was a different night, but the same sad story, writes Sean Yuille of SB Nation's Detroit Lions blog, Pride of Detroit.

This was indeed another facepalm-worthy performance by the Lions. This was a game that they could have won had they not left so many points on the field, but I suppose we really shouldn't expect anything else at this point.

Matthew Stafford threw for 443 yards, signifying the Lions' ability to move the ball on offense. However, he did not throw any touchdowns, signifying the Lions' inability to score points. Costly interceptions hurt the Lions' comeback chances as well, just as they have all season.

But despite the loss, Lions fans certainly had something to cheer for on Saturday night. With three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Calvin Johnson caught a pass from Stafford and ran down the sidelines for 26 yards to break Jerry Rice's single season receiving record of 1,848, finishing the night with a total of 1,892 yards. Johnson's incredible season has been one of the lone bright spots in an otherwise disappointing year.

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