This could actually happen.
All season long, Atlanta’s Julio Jones and Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown have been hanging around the pace needed to break the single-season receiving yards mark set in 2012 by Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson.
The chase for 1,964 yards – or 1,965 to break – saw both Brown and Jones at times well above and below the pace needed to knock Johnson out of the record book three years after he entered it.
Now, with six weeks left in the season it remains a possibility for both players. Neither Jones nor Brown, as you’ll see below, are over the pace to pass Johnson but both players have started to get hot as the season enters the final portion of the season.
Jones has three straight 100-yard games – and two of those three were for 160 yards or more. Brown has gone three of four games over 100 yards and jumped back into the conversation with his 284-yard performance in Week 9.
And since both the Falcons and Steelers are clearly in the playoff hunt, Brown and Jones should be key cogs in potential runs for the postseason – and that should help their numbers as well. (Here’s the helpful reminder of how insane Johnson’s last half of 2012 was that ended up setting the record.)
Here is where Jones and Brown stand 10 games into the season. Houston’s DeAndre Hopkins, who has been on the list for much of the season, has fallen off pace enough that he’s not being tracked for now.
Yards per game: 118.9
On pace for: 1,903 yards
Yards per game needed to break Johnson’s record: 129.3
Yards needed to reach 1,965: 776
Yards per game: 114.1
On pace for: 1,825 yards
Yards per game needed to break Johnson’s record: 137.3
Yards needed to reach 1,965: 824
Calvin Johnson through 10 games in 2012
Yards per game averaged by Johnson during the 2012 season: 122.75
100-yard games Johnson had in 2012: 11
200-yard games Johnson had in 2012: 2