ST. LOUIS – Calvin Johnson didn’t quite get there last week against Green Bay, but the Detroit Lions wide receiver has a better-than-good shot of eclipsing the 1,000-yard mark on Sunday against St. Louis.
Johnson has 965 receiving yards this season – 35 yards away from the 1,000-yard plateau for the sixth straight season and seventh year overall. He’s been a 1,000-yard receiver in every season since 2010. The last time he didn't hit that mark was in 2009, when he had 984 yards in 14 games.
“Very few people have achieved the kind of excellence that he has in terms of his playing career. I mean, he’s been incredible and the numbers keep stacking up and it’s because of the fact that he’s one of those guys that makes plays week-in and week-out, year-in and year-out and it’s consistent,” Lions coach Jim Caldwell said. “A lot of guys that you’ve seen, if you take a look, they’ve had a great game and maybe never have a great game again or they’ve had a great eight-game stretch, or they’ve maybe had a great year.
“But very few people can stack them on top of one another year after year after year after year. He’s one of those guys.”
That longevity has also allowed him to move rapidly up the NFL’s all-time ledger in various receiving categories.
At 11,370 yards, Johnson is three yards away from passing Keenan McCardell (11,373) for No. 29 on the all-time receiving list. Former Denver Broncos receiver Rod Smith (11,389) is also within reach Sunday, as is Muhsin Muhammad (11,438), who is No. 27 all-time.
Johnson is 23rd all-time in receiving touchdowns with 81. Next up for him there are Reggie Wayne (82) and a group of four at No. 18 all-time with 84 touchdowns (Mark Clayton, Irving Fryar, Tommy McDonald and Andre Rison).
Johnson’s quarterback, Matthew Stafford, has a good chance to pass another Hall of Fame quarterback in passing yards on Sunday as well. Stafford enters Sunday at No. 69 all-time in passing yardage with 24,878 yards.
He could hit the 25,000-yard mark against the Rams as well as pass Bob Griese, who threw for 25,092 yards for Miami from 1967 to 1980.
Stafford will also have a shot to move up the career passing touchdowns list. He’s at No. 79 entering Sunday with 153 touchdowns, tied with Hall of Famer Roger Staubach. Next up are Jeff George and Brian Sipe, with 154, Danny White with 155 and Steve Bartkowski with 156.