Detroit Lions: Where Does Calvin Johnson's Week 8 Performance Rank All Time?
Johnson was unstoppable against the Dallas Cowboys, recording 329 yards receiving to help his team pick up a key victory.
The Dallas defense was overmatched all day long, victimized by a player who the NFL hasn't seen the likes of in a long time—maybe ever.
Johnson has had some terrific performances over the course of his career, but this game will stand out for many years to come.
The 329 yards receiving posted by Johnson were the most in a game in nearly 25 years, and the second-most in a single game in NFL history.
On November 26, 1989, Willie "Flipper" Anderson of the Los Angeles Rams put up a number that still stands to this day—336 yards in one game.
Though Johnson fell seven yards short of knocking Anderson out of the record book, did he have a better overall game?
Anderson and the Rams faced the New Orleans Saints on the day he broke the record, but it was a largely uneventful game.
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The Saints played excellent defense and led 17-3 in the fourth quarter, only to allow a furious comeback by the Rams, who scored 14 points to send the game into overtime.
The Rams won the coin toss and went down the field to win the game 20-17 on a Mike Lansford field goal from 31 yards out.
The Rams were without All-Pro receiver Henry Ellard in the game, and because of that Anderson's number was called several times.
Anderson got huge chunks out of nearly every catch he made, but he did most of his damage late in the game as the Rams made their comeback.
In the second half and overtime, Anderson caught 9 passes for 195 yards with a touchdown. The Rams finished the game with 454 passing yards, and aside from Anderson no player had more than 55 yards receiving.
Los Angeles quarterback Jim Everett showed supreme confidence in Anderson, throwing the ball to him many times and just allowing him to go and get it.
But Anderson was a second-year player who had just 19 catches on the entire season going into that game. He never had another game anywhere close to this performance.
That is what makes what Johnson did even more impressive.
Which player had the better game?
If you're playing Detroit, you know where they want to go with the ball and there isn't much any team can do about it.
Johnson was matched up against one of the NFL's better cornerbacks in Brandon Carr. But Carr needed help all day and even that made no difference.
Johnson caught passes over the middle, on the sidelines and in triple coverage. It was simply a pleasure to watch—unless you're a fan of the Cowboys.
The Lions finished the game with 488 yards through the air but the second-leading receiver on the team, Kris Durham, had just 54 yards.
Without the efforts made by Johnson, there's no way Detroit wins that game. Johnson also set this record coming off a year in which he broke the record for yards receiving in a single season.
Anderson never came close to doing that.
Many similarities can be drawn between these two games, but unlike Anderson, Johnson has the chance to approach numbers like this again. No one would be surprised if he did.
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