Johnson sets NFL season record for receiving yards

Sun Dec 23, 2012 1:20am EST
 
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(Reuters) - Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson gave the home crowd something to cheer about when he set a National Football League record for most receiving yards in a season in a 31-18 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Saturday.

Johnson caught 11 passes from quarterback Matthew Stafford for 225 yards and a total of 1,892 yards for the season with one game remaining.

The speedy, 6ft-5in (1.96m) Johnson, serenaded by chants of "Calvin, Calvin" even while the team was falling to its seventh loss in a row, eclipsed the record of 1,848 yards set by Hall of Famer Jerry Rice in 1995 for the San Francisco 49ers.

After his 26-yard fourth-quarter reception on one of his typical catch-and-run plays across the middle moved him past Rice, the Lions receiver jogged to the sideline to hand the ball to his father as the crowd roared in appreciation.

"This is a huge accomplishment to take one of those records from the great Jerry," said the 27-year-old Johnson, taken with the second overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft out of Georgia Tech.

"He's amazing," Rice said in a phone interview during the ESPN telecast. "Just watching him go out there and do his thing on the football field, he's a true talent and that's why they call him 'Megatron'.

"You never want your record broken, but if anyone is going to do it, I prefer it's Megatron."

EXCEPTIONAL THREAT

Rice said Johnson's combination of size, strength and speed made him an exceptional threat on the gridiron.   Continued...

 
Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (C) carries the ball between Atlanta Falcons safety Chris Hope (L) and cornerback Dunta Robinson during the second half of their NFL football game in Detroit, Michigan December 22, 2012. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook