Calvin Johnson's machine-like production from the wide receiver spot has fittingly earned him the moniker "Megatron," and he added to his legend in Week 8 by nearly breaking the NFL's all-time single-game receiving record against the Dallas Cowboys in a winning cause.
ESPN Stats & Info provided the details, noting Johnson came within just seven yards of Flipper Anderson for the all-time mark:
Calvin Johnson: 329 receiving yards, 2nd-most in single game in NFL history (Flipper Anderson, 336)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 27, 2013
Anderson set the record back in 1989 during his tenure with the Los Angeles Rams, catching 15 passes for 336 yards in Week 12 of that season against the New Orleans Saints.
Johnson finished his afternoon with 14 catches for 329 yards and a touchdown. Fantasy owners will surely point to missed opportunities for another score, but there's no way to criticize this legendary performance.
Johnson's 329-yard total is even more impressive considering the Cowboys had impressively shut down Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson the past couple of weeks leading up to this contest against Detroit.
It's worth noting that Dallas was operating without cornerback Morris Claiborne for the second half after he suffered a hamstring injury earlier in the contest, as noted by Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News:
CB Mo Claiborne has a hamstring injury. His return for the Cowboys is questionable.— Tom Orsborn (@tom_orsborn) October 27, 2013
With a depleted secondary, Dallas was helpless to stop Johnson from having one of the biggest games in NFL history.
After nearly breaking the 2,000-yard mark last season, Johnson has once again put the league on notice that he's nobody's equal, despite what Dez Bryant may have to say on the matter. Bryant made headlines this past week after he made some comments regarding Megatron, as noted by Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com:
I believe I can do whatever he can do. I think it's just a pride thing. When it comes to football, just being on the field, it's a mindset and having a mentality. I honestly believe when I'm there, I'll be feeling like there's nothing I can't do. Whatever the coaches ask me to do, I'm going to do it.
After Johnson's breakout game against Bryant's Cowboys, it's clear who the No. 1 receiver in the NFL is—as if there were ever any doubt.
Calvin Johnson is the greatest receiver in the history of the NFL! #dropsthemic— Reggie Bush (@ReggieBush) October 27, 2013
And as scary as his performance must be for defensive coordinators, Johnson isn't yet 100 percent healthy. Jim Schwartz made a frightening comment after the game to this point, as noted by Brad Galli of WXYZ-TV in Detroit:
"Just wait 'til he's 100 percent." - Jim Schwartz on Calvin Johnson.— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) October 27, 2013
For the season, Johnson has now caught 47 passes for 821 yards with seven touchdowns. He and the Lions will now head into the bye week to rest up and get ready for the second half of the season, sitting in great shape with a record of 5-3.
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