Calvin Johnson: Odds Megatron Breaks Jerry Rice's Record

Jesse ReedCorrespondent IDecember 18, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 11: Harrison Smith #22 of the Minnesota Vikings tackles Calvin Johnson #81 of the Detroit Lions during the second quarter of the game on November 11, 2012 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Calvin Johnson only needs 182 more yards in 2012 to surpass Jerry Rice's record for most receiving yards in a single season (1,848), but it's not a given that he'll finish strong.

Johnson is currently on a tear that almost rivals that of Adrian Peterson.

Over the course of the past seven games, Megatron has caught 65 passes for 1,029 yards and four touchdowns. That's an average of 9.25 receptions and 147 yards per game.

If he continues on this pace, he'll easily surpass Rice's hallowed record.

Unfortunately for him, the Detroit Lions are scheduled to face the Atlanta Falcons and Chicago Bears in the final two weeks of the season, and both teams are capable of shutting down elite quarterbacks and wide receivers.

Johnson's first meeting against the Bears was his worst outing all year long.

He finished the game with just three catches for 34 yards and didn't have a touchdown. Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings effectively shut him out, and there's a chance they'll do it again in Week 17 as the Bears fight for a playoff spot.

The Falcons completely shut down Eli Manning and his receivers in Week 15, holding Manning to 161 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions. Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks—Manning's main weapons—were held to a combined six catches for 65 yards.

Both teams are adept at forcing turnovers and wreaking havoc on opposing quarterbacks in one way or another, and it'll take a couple of outstanding games for Matthew Stafford to get Johnson the ball often enough to break Rice's record.

The Lions have been out of the playoffs since the midway point of the season and are coming off their worst loss of the year—a 38-10 drubbing by the Arizona Cardinals, of all teams. Stafford had his worst game of the year, throwing three interceptions and zero touchdowns.

The silver lining here is that Johnson still caught 10 passes for 121 yards.

What all of this tells me is that, while it's not going to be an easy task, Megatron has an excellent chance to break Rice's record.


Odds Johnson Breaks Rice's Record: 2/1


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