Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson flirt with history in Lions loss

Leon Halip

The quarterback and receiver were on pace to break single-game records for yardage. Pittsburgh made adjustments, and the Lions ended up losing the game.

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.

Rank Player Yards Team Date
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.

Rank Player Yards Team Date
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

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