Over the years, the Bills have had elite wide receivers post excellent numbers, but there’s one record that star wideout Stevie Johnson has that stands above the rest. Johnson is about to do something that legendary Buffalo Bills like Andre Reed and Eric Moulds couldn’t accomplish… Post back-to-back-to-back 1000 yard receiving seasons.
No Buffalo Bill had ever had back-to-back 1000 yard receiving seasons until Johnson eclipsed 1000 with an 18 yard touchdown catch in a week 17 matchup against New England last year. Now, with 891 yards this season and two games to play this season, 1000 yards is definitely a possibility.
With the playoffs now out of the question, Johnson seems to be one of the few Bills to still be putting 100% heart into every game, every snap, every route.
“It’s the motivation for now,” Johnson said to Buffalobills.com in an interview. “First it was get to the playoffs, now since that’s out of the picture. Now it’s two things really, playing for my coaches, playing for my teammates and a thousand yards. Being the only receiver to have three straight 1,000-yard seasons would be cool. That’s what it’s come to.”
Johnson hauls one in against Kansas City (Photo credit to espn.com)
Johnson has shown an increased maturity in every facet this season after questions have arisen in the last few years about his maturity. From excessive celebration penalties (“Why so Serious?” and “The Jet”) to the infamous “God” tweet, fans and experts questioned whether he was mature enough to excel in this league.
After signing a new deal with Buffalo during the offseason, Johnson has been nothing but a class act this season. Not only has he matured mentally, but his game has seemed to only get better as the season goes on. His incredible one-handed catch against Seattle last week is proof that he’s only getting better.
The former Kentucky Wildcat and 224th overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft is quickly becoming a leader on a team that seems to lack leadership and teammates are taking notice.
“He’s developing into that role as a leader, not only of the receiver group, but a leader on the team and on our offense. No longer do we have Lee Evans or whoever it is, guys that he used to looked up to, to make the big play, to do all that stuff to get us going—Stevie realizes that that’s him. He’s going to be the guy that has to do something unbelievable.” Said Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick when asked about Stevie’s leadership.
No doubt that Stevie Johnson is one to watch in the coming years. If he (along with the team) continues to improve, I truly believe he could be a huge threat to defenses across the league. If Stevie continues to improve like this, he could be looking at more than just three straight 1000 yard seasons. There hasn’t been much for Bills fans to look forward to this year, but Stevie Johnson is definitely one to watch.
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