Perhaps the lone bright spot for the Detroit Lions in an otherwise dreary season has been the play of wide receiver Calvin Johnson.
There are still four more games yet to be played but his stat line could get locked in today and it would still be regarded as a fine season. His 86 catches and 1,428 receiving yards are better than his season totals in any year outside of last season. In fact, his 1,428 receiving yards is already the 49th-highest total in the history of the NFL.
Calvin’s chase of Jerry Rice‘s single-season receiving yards record is the biggest Lions story to watch down the stretch. Sunday’s big game against the Colts bumped his season average up to 119 receiving yards per game and put him on pace to finish with 1904 yards – more than 50 yards better than Rice‘s record of 1,848.
Here are the remaining checkpoints along the way and where each mark would rank on the all-time single season receiving yards list:
1,500 yards – 30th all-time
1,600 yards – 15th all-time
1,681 yards – 7th all-time (Calvin Johnson’s 2011 season total)
1,686 yards – 6th all-time (Herman Moore‘s team record set in 1995)
1,700 yards – 5th all-time
1,800 yards – 2nd all-time
1,848 yards – Best all-time (Jerry Rice, 1995)