Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/17/14

BALTIMORE - DECEMBER 13: Calvin Johnson #81 of the Detroit Lions makes a catch against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on December 13, 2009 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Lions 48-3. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
Adrian Peterson‘s pursuit of Eric Dickerson‘s single-season rushing record seemed to be all the rage as this NFL season slowly wound down. The chase was so captivating that it even overshadowed some other notable quests. Not anymore, though. Calvin Johnson stole the attention from Peterson on Saturday night as a season full of hardship, defeat and a whole boatload of receptions saw a 17-year-old NFL record fall. Johnson caught 11 passes for 225 yards on Saturday, finally breaking Jerry Rice‘s single-season receiving record of 1,848 yards. The record-breaking performance came in the Lions’ ninth straight loss, which made for a bittersweet moment. But even while his team disappoints, Johnson continues to exceed expectations. After Johnson’s 96 catches, 1,681 yards and 16 touchdowns helped guide Detroit to a playoff berth in 2011, hopes were high for an emerging Lions team this season. The Lions have not come through on their part of the deal, though, going just 4-11. But Johnson has continued his meteoric rise to the top of the NFL’s wide receiver hierarchy. Players like Andre Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Brandon Marshall and even Wes Welker deserve some consideration among the NFL’s best at the receiver position. But the man commonly known as Megatron is still in a class of his own. Johnson’s monstrous 6-foot-5, 235-pound frame, combined with his blazing speed and reliable hands, make him the perfect target for any quarterback. Johnson has far surpassed his impressive 2011 campaign by not only breaking Rice’s record but also in securing his first 100-catch season (117 catches overall). With 1,892 receiving yards and one game left on the schedule, he also has the chance to become the first receiver to ever eclipse the 2,000-yard plateau — a feat that would further establish his place among not only today’s greats but also among the all-time elites. Six seasons into his NFL career, Johnson can’t be counted alongside Rice, Cris Carter, Tim Brown and the other legendary receivers just yet, but he’s on the right track. Such a high honor is still well within Johnson’s reach, and his title as the NFL’s best active receiver should only help to strengthen that pursuit. For now, Johnson can hang his helmet on his newly minted record, but it would appear a gold jacket and trip to Canton, Ohio, are well within his future. Have a question for Luke Hughes? Send it to him via Twitter at @LukeFHughes or send it here.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Jets acquire Brandon Marshall in trade with Bears

With Hunter Pence out, Giants have options

Dustin Pedroia on confidence after grand slam: 'Just watch'

Jon Jones thinks he can beat Cain Velasquez

Larry Bird jokes about pose of Dominique Wilkins’ statue

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Barry Switzer urged Cowboys to draft Murray with great quote

SF Giants file brief in support of gay marriage to Supreme Court

Jay Cutler available to teams in trade

Brian Hoyer praises Johnny Manziel for checking into rehab

Dockett: I would have signed with Cardinals for less money

Report: Darrelle Revis' decision to come down to Patriots, Jets

Who is the 'franchise player' at each sports network?

WATCH: Duncan Keith makes young girl's dream come true

Top 10 storylines to watch in spring practice

Analyzing the top-five free agent quarterbacks

Five NBA players set to make biggest impact down the stretch

Five areas the Eagles must address this offseason

WATCH: Craig Sager emotional in warm welcome back to TNT

Likeliest landing spots for Ndamukong Suh

Tigers pitcher Alfredo Simon drives a chrome Mercedes

WATCH: Ronda Rousey breaks guy's ribs who doubts her ability

Michelle Beadle’s campaign to be cast in ‘Sharknado 3′ pays off

Ten teams who have tightened the belt

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Winston's film vs. Oregon is why scouts love him

Report: Jets acquire Brandon Marshall

With Pence out, Giants have options

Analyzing the top-five free agent QBs

NBA players set to make biggest impact

Larry Bird trash talks Dominique Wilkins’ statue

Likeliest landing spots for Suh

Jay Cutler available to teams in trade

Ronda Rousey breaks guy's ribs

Ten teams who have tightened the belt

Mayweather waited for Pacquiao to get old, right?

Maurice Jones-Drew announces his retirement from NFL

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.