Seemingly half-man, half-machine, Megatron is aiming to become the first 2,000-yard receiver ever.
Seemingly half-man, half-machine, Detroit Lions wideout Calvin Johnson â the All-Pro wideout known simply as âMegatron,â a nickname inspired by the Transformers character, broke the single-season receiving yards record held by Jerry Rice â the retired Hall of Fame pass-catcher known to many as the âG.O.A.T.,â or âGreatest of All-Time.â
Johnson hauled in 11 catches for 225 yards in prime time on Saturday night, during a 31â18 defeat to the Falcons. The sixth-year receiver out of Georgia Tech now has 1,892 yards and counting, surpassing the previous mark of 1,848 yards set by Rice as a member of the 49ers in 1995.
âIâve been an NFL fan my whole life, dating back to watching Johnny Unitas and Raymond Berry as a kidd, and Iâve coached in this league for 19 years,â said Lions coach Jim Schwartz. âIâve seen a lot of Hall of Famers, but Iâve never seen a better player than Calvin Johnson. He just broke a record set by Jerry Rice, who is arguably the best player in the history of this league.â
Johnson also broke the NFL records for consecutive 100-yard games (with his eighth straight) and consecutive games with 10 catches or more (with his fourth straight), while tying Michael Irvinâs record with his 11th 100-yard game this season.
âHeâs the greatest player Iâve ever seen and, like I said, Iâve seen a bunch of them,â said Schwartz. âTo see somebody do what heâs done when every game plan is designed to stop him. It says a lot about Calvin.â
The 6'5", 235-pounder has awed fans and foes alike this season, with both his on-field exploits and off-field demeanor.
âCalvin is one of the best players in the game and I think everybody is a big fan of his,â said Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, after the game. âHeâs one of the most genuinely nice people you could meet.â
With one game remaining, Johnson needs just 108 yards to reach the 2,000-yard receiving mark. With another 162 yards, Johnson would top Barry Sandersâ team record of 2,053 yards rushing set in 1997. Another 213 would best Eric Dickersonâs all-time record of 2,105 rush yards.
The Bears, however, stand in between Johnson and the 2,000-yard club. Earlier this season, he was held to a season-low 34 yards receiving during a 13â7 loss at Chicago in Week 7.
âItâs going to be a tough task,â Johnson told NFL Network, when asked about possibly becoming the first receiver in history to break the 2,000-yard mark in a single season.
âWe have a tough Bears defense that we have coming into our place. So we have to be on our Pâs and Qâs this week, eliminate a lot of errors we have on film (from Saturday), and push forward. Finish this season on the right note.â