I remember back in the early 70s–damn that was a long time ago–when nobody thought it was possible for a running back to get 2,000 yards rushing in a single season. It would take a player with unbelievable speed and strength, the likes of which the NFL had never seen before, to come along and set a record that nobody thought was even possible. That player was O.J. Simpson. Yes folks, before he became a symbol of justice gone wrong and the National Enquirer’s favorite headline, O.J. Simpson was a special running back.
Fast forward to the present and the Detroit Lions possess such a talent in wide receiver Calvin Johnson. There has never been a talent like Megatron in the history of the NFL. Seriously, his picture should be under wide receiver in Webster’s Dictionary. I’ve been thinking about this for a couple of weeks now, can he get 2,000 yards? The answer is yes.
Megatron passes the first requirement for achieving such a goal–he has the body to do it. I guess after watching football for almost a hundred years, God decided to create the perfect wide receiver in Calvin Johnson. It’s absolutely freakish the things his body can do. The next requirement is, does he have someone that can get him the ball despite being double and triple teamed on a constant basis? Matthew Stafford proved during his first full season last year that he’s on pace to become the best Quarterbacks the Lions have ever had. I know that means next to nothing, considering the Lions history at that position, but he showed the potential of having a Hall of Fame type of career.
I find it funny when Stafford’s critics claim that Calvin Johnson is the reason that Stafford posted those great numbers from last year. Sorry, but it’s the other way around. Wasn’t it just a year ago that Cris Carter claimed that Megatron wasn’t even in his top five? Look at the result of one full year with Stafford, the cover of Madden 13. The last requirement for such a feat is to play in a conducive offense. Scott Linehan likes to throw the football, a lot. But he also likes a balanced offense, something the Lions didn’t have last year. With Mikel Leshoure in the lineup this year and combined with Jahvid Best, the Lions will finally have a running attack that will make defenses bring up the safety. I know that a good running game will give Calvin less chances to make plays but it will allow him to blow by that safety on those deep patterns. It’s also a good thing to have other talented wide receivers so it makes rolling the coverages his way more difficult.
The all-time record for receiving yards in a season is 1,848 by Jerry Rice. Calvin just finished his best season ever with 1,681 yards. The way Calvin gets yards in not just huge chunks, but entire lengths of football fields, I don’t think adding a couple of hundred yards to last years total is unreasonable at all. Who know how many yards he would have gotten if Stafford hadn’t hurt his hand so bad that he couldn’t throw a decent spiral for a month?
It’s going to take a special player to reach 2,000 receiving yards in a single season. Someone so special that his mere name conjures up images of super powers. Someone like Megatron.