Johnson's record-breaking grab came in the fourth quarter of the Detroit Lions' 31-18 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. The man they call Megatron streaked over the middle of the field, snatched the ball and sprinted up the sideline for a first down before he was forced out of bounds.
It was his 10th catch of the game, and it officially put him over Rice's mark of 1,848 yards, which had stood since 1995. Johnson had one more reception before the game ended, finishing with 11 catches for 225 yards.
As expected, Johnson's incredible feat set the Twitterverse on fire. The comments below are just some of the best from this great moment in NFL history.
For his efforts, Johnson received this slightly less prestigious honor from Monday Night Football's Jon Gruden:
During the game, though, Gruden said the record was tainted because the Lions didn't win many games like Rice's 49ers did. Bleacher Report's lead NFL writer Michael Schottey poked a pretty big hole in that argument:
The 1995 SF 49ers had 6 Pro Bowlers on defense. Probably something Gruden could've mentioned.— Michael Schottey (@Schottey) December 23, 2012
Now that he has the record, Johnson can turn his attention to 2,000 yards, as the NFL on ESPN pointed out:
Calvin Johnson needs 108 yards next week vs Chicago to reach 2,000 on the season.— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) December 23, 2012
After Johnson broke the record, Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports provided this gem of a list:
Calvin Johnson, Freakiest of all Freak athletes..interesting to see the list of 04 HS WRs ranked higher: bit.ly/Ug5CU4— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) December 23, 2012
As Jennifer Hammond of Detroit's Fox affiliate pointed out, this record couldn't have gone to a better guy:
Calvin Johnson is THE MOST humble SUPERSTAR I have ever covered in 18 years in Detroit Sports. #NFLHistory— Jennifer Hammond (@HammerFox2) December 23, 2012
Johnson received all sorts of Twitter love, including some props from the folks at GQ Magazine:
Congrats to Calvin Johnson, who just broke @jerryrice's single-season receiving record!— GQ Magazine (@GQMagazine) December 23, 2012
Congrats to the big homie @bigplaycj on the record!!! Well deserved!!!!— Aj Green (@ajgreen_18) December 23, 2012
Even legendary running back Eddie George was blown away by Johnson's achievement:
Congrats to Megatron for breaking Single SeasonNFL receiving record.. Next 2000 yards.. Wow— Eddie George (@EddieGeorge27) December 23, 2012
As Megatron toyed with the Falcons defense, the always-hilarious Not Bill Walton feed said Johnson has reached the most elite of company:
Two most dominant video games characters of all-time: Tecmo Bo and Real Life Calvin Johnson. #Megatron— Not Bill Walton (@NotBillWalton) December 23, 2012
The NFL Network's Ian Rapoport also found some humor in Johnson's performance:
Calvin Johnson. LOL. Just running by four defenders.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 23, 2012
As if the single-season yardage record wasn't enough, the official SportsCenter feed pointed out that Johnson broke another record on Saturday:
Calvin Johnson just went over 100 yards receiving for the 8th consecutive game, an NFL record.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 23, 2012
Make that three records for Megatron Saturday night, according to ESPN Stats & Info:
In addition to the broken records, Johnson also shattered the so-called "Madden Curse," as ESPN's Michael Smith mentioned:
Calvin Johnson straight up took that Madden curse and reversed it.— Michael Smith (@michaelsmith) December 23, 2012
But the tweet of the night goes to Bruce Arthur of the National Post, who likely scared some Johnson fans with this foreshadowing tweet:
Calvin Johnson breaks Jerry Rice's record for receiving yards in a season. Next: Barry Sanders' record for best career wasted in Detroit.— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) December 23, 2012
Second place in tweet of the night contest goes to Bleacher Report assignment editor Neri Stein, who effectively ruined the party with this buzz-killing comment:
So Calvin Johnson will hold record for most receiving yards in a season. And it was completely meaningless in things that actually matter.— Neri Stein (@neristein) December 23, 2012
Given that the Lions are now 4-11 this season, I guess she has a point.