The Detroit Lions racked up nearly 400 yards of offense in the first half Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson were kept quiet in the second half of the team's 37-27 loss.
Stafford threw for 327 yards in the first two quarters, a franchise record. He was on pace to break the NFL single-game passing yards record, which stands at 554 yards and was set in 1951 by Norm Van Brocklin. Stafford nearly broke the record last season when he threw for 520 yards against the Packers.
Pittsburgh took a hint, and made some halftime adjustments to get more pressure on Stafford and tighter coverage on Megatron. It worked, at least enough to keep Detroit's offensive duo from putting their names in the history book this week.
The Steelers held Stafford to just 35 yards in the second half as they scored 17 unanswered points. Stafford finished 19-of-46 for 362 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.
Calvin Johnson was Stafford's favorite target as usual and had 179 yards and two touchdowns at the half. The single-game receiving yards record is 336, a mark which Johnson came just seven yards short of earlier this season against the Cowboys.
However, Johnson was shut out in the second half and finished with those 179 yards.
Missing out passing records wasn't Detroit's biggest problem. A fake field goal in the fourth quarter resulted in a fumble. The Steelers recovered and scored on the ensuing drive. Pittsburgh would add another touchdown for a 37-27 comeback win over the Lions.
Stafford's first touchdown to Johnson, a 79-yard strike early in the second quarter, was the quarterback's 100th career touchdown pass and gave him the Lions' all-time career passing yards lead.
Here are the record holders in single-game passing yards, via Pro Football Reference.
|1||Norm Van Brocklin||554||Rams||September 28, 1951|
|2||Warren Moon||527||Oiles||December 16, 1990|
|Matt Schaub||527||Texans||November 18, 2012|
|4||Boomer Esiason||522||Arizona Cardinals||November 10, 1996|
|5||Dan Marino||521||Dolphins||October 23, 1988|
|6||Matthew Stafford||520||Lions||January 1, 2012|
|7||Tom Brady||517||Patriots||September 12, 2011|
|8||Phil Simms||513||Giants||October 13, 1985|
|9||Eli Manning||510||Giants||September 16, 2012|
|Drew Brees||510||Saints||November 19, 2006|
Here are the leaders in single-game receiving yards.
|1||Flipper Anderson||336||LA Rams||November 26, 1989|
|2||Calvin Johnson||329||Lions||October 27, 2013|
|3||Stephone Paige||309||Chiefs||December 22, 1985|
|4||Jim Benton||303||Cleveland Rams||November 22, 1945|
|5||Cloyce Box||302||Lions||December 3, 1950|
|6||Jimmy Smith||291||Jaguars||September 10, 2000|
|7||Jerry Rice||289||49ers||December 18, 1995|
|8||John Taylor||286||49ers||December 11, 1989|
|9||Terrell Owens||283||49ers||December 17, 2000|
|10||Andre Johnson||273||Texans||November 18, 2012|