Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 12/23/12

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

Twitter, Facebook report engagement decline during Super Bowl

Steve Spurrier becomes special assistant to South Carolina AD

Brent Musberger wants you to bet on Joe Lunardi’s bracketology

Unranked Duke uses big first half to beat No.13 Louisville

MLB reportedly close to rule preventing collisions at second base

USOC says athletes concern about Zika shouldn't attend Games

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Von Miller shares support for embattled Johnny Manziel

The Panthers had to use a silent snap count at the Super Bowl

Report: Lakers would fire Byron Scott to hire Luke Walton

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Seahawks’ Frank Clark rips Cam Newton ‘that boy a b—‘

Report: Tom Thibodeau has 'always wanted' Knicks job

Daniel Bryan says goodbye to WWE during teary retirement speech

Paul George delivers great line about driving by Kobe Bryant

WATCH: Oklahoma beats Texas on Buddy Hield's 3-pointer

Andre Drummond hits 70-foot buzzer beater to end 3rd quarter

Duke's Allen appears to intentionally trip Louisville's Spaulding

Candidates for New York Knicks head coaching job

Attorney alleges Johnny Manziel ruptured ex-girlfriend's eardrum

Jeanie Buss may clean house in Lakers’ front office

Lisa Ann wants to reward Emmanuel Sanders for Super Bowl win

WWE Superstar Daniel Bryan to announce retirement

Nine best and worst players from 2015 NFL playoffs

Rodman wants Phil Jackson to know he’s ready to coach Knicks

Wade Phillips trolls Cam Newton with dabbing tweet

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

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker