The Detroit Lions finished Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts without the players who opened the season as their No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 wide receivers. And still, receiver Calvin Johnson managed to catch 13 passes for 171 yards and a 46-yard touchdown.
That quarterback Matthew Stafford saw fit to throw 20 passes in Johnson's direction illustrated how hard Johnson worked to stay open. Had the Colts lost, they would have been rightfully held accountable for allowing Johnson such a monster game with Nate Burleson, Titus Young and Ryan Broyles all sidelined.
The performance put Johnson 421 yards away from breaking Jerry Rice's 17-year-old NFL record for receiving yards in a season. That's an average of 105.6 yards per game. Johnson also tied the NFL record for consecutive games with at least 125 yards in receiving at five, also held by former Lions receiver Pat Studstill.
At Johnson's current pace of 123.7 yards per game, of course, he would finish with 1,978 yards. Stay tuned.