Calvin Johnson entered Saturday night’s game against Atlanta needing 182 yards to break Jerry Rice’s single-season receiving yardage record. He blew past that mark with 2:57 left in the fourth quarter, on a 26-yard pass from Matthew Stafford.
Johnson immediately ran to the Lions’ sideline and handed the ball to his father, Calvin Johnson Sr., as the home fans saluted their superstar with a standing ovation.
“When you’re in the game, you’re still in the moment,” Johnson said. “I don’t even think I said anything to my dad when I gave him the ball.
“When I think back on it, it was a special moment.”
He added another catch later to finish with 225 yards in a 31-18 loss to Atlanta, putting him at 1,892 yards in 2012. Now, the Detroit Lions’ sensational wide receiver can set his sights on an even more remarkable goal: 2,000 yards receiving in a season.
“I tried to get to 2,000 yards and I was not successful,” said Rice, whose 1,848 yards had stood since 1995, in a interview with ESPN announcers Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden during the game. “I think he’s gonna do it.”