The 2011 Detroit Lions seem destined to break a franchise record or two in the passing game. There's one particular record that I'm very curious to see them go after. Combined touchdown receptions.
When the 1995 season came to a conclusion, Herman Moore had pulled in 123 receptions. Meanwhile, his partner in crime Brett Perriman had grabbed 108. That's so sick I'm surprised the words didn't turn green once I had typed them!
Marvin Harrison would later break Moore's individual season record, catching 143 passes in 2004 (however when Peyton Manning is your quarterback that's considered cheating), but no one has topped Moore and Perriman's combined 231 receptions. I don't think any duo ever will.
Side note: I met Perriman in person in 1996, and I swear to you the man's hands hang down below his knee caps when he's standing upright!
As for Moore and Perriman's combined receiving yards? 3,174. No typo.
Moore had 1,686 yards; Calvin could get there, but I doubt it (Week 2 against Kansas City hurt his chances). Perriman finished with 1,488, and there's no way Burleson will come close to that. Burleson has only one 1,000-yard season, netting 1,006 in the 2004 campaign when he was with the rival Vikings.
If Calvin and Nate are going to one-up Herman and Brett (we're on a first name basis now since I'm giving them their props) in any category, it will have to be combined touchdown grabs.
In '95 Moore came down with 14 touchdowns, while Perriman had nine. 23 total touchdown catches. Again—serious respect.
Can Johnson and Burleson surpass Moore & Perriman's 23 TD receptions?
I see no reason why C.J. couldn't grab two or more TDs in every game this season (if you dared him to, he could probably catch a one-handed TD every game—possibly while wearing a blindfold). Realistically though, he'll have a couple games where he only gets one, maybe twice going scoreless. I doubt it though. Calvin seems infatuated with the end zone this season, and the end zone seems to reciprocate his feelings.
So let's assume C.J. finishes with 18 TDs. Honestly, can you see him catching fewer than that? I simply cannot. That means Burleson would only have to get six touchdown receptions, and the franchise record is theirs.
One thing our current Lions have going for them is Matthew Stafford, who is a better quarterback than Scott Mitchell. That might be a double-edged sword however, as Stafford has proven he'll spread the ball around this year.
Titus Young gets better every week, Scheffler and Pettigrew are second only to Gronkowski and Hernandez as a TE duo, and Jahvid Best is solid out of the backfield.
During the preseason, Burleson seemed destined to have a big year, but he's yet to find the end zone in 2011 regular season. The chemistry Stafford and Johnson have definitely correlates with Burleson's relatively quiet start, but I have a feeling Nasty Nate finds the end zone this weekend in Dallas.
The quest to 24 combined TDs continues this week in Jerry's World.
Moore and Perriman were a part of something special in 1995. They were on a team that won ten games and made the playoffs. If Johnson and Burleson hope to do that, a road win against a formidable opponent would be a nice reception. As in the acknowledgement that comes with being 4-0.