It’s a moment few fathers ever get to experience.
Imagine the emotions going through
“How can you say your kid is going to break break Jerry Rice’s record?” he said after the game, still holding the ball.
“It’s not something you can imagine. It’s just something that happens.”
Following a 26-yard reception late in the fourth quarter, Johnson ran over to the sideline and and gave his father a quick hug, handed him the ball and then rejoined his teammates in the huddle as they tried to come back in an eventual 31-18 loss to the Falcons.
“When you’re in the game you’re still in the moment,” Johnson said. “I was in my zone, you know. I went over there – I don’t think I even said anything to my dad when I gave him the ball. I just gave him a hug. When I think back on it, it was a special moment.”
Johnson Sr. said Saturday’s accomplishment was a “continuation” of a lot of moments in which he’s been proud of his son.
Johnson established a new NFL single-season record for receiving yards, now with 1,892 yards, by breaking Hall of Fame receiver's 17-year old mark. The new record occurred on his 10th reception of the game that went for 26 yards with 3:05 left in the fourth quarter.
He’s now 108 yards shy of becoming the first player in NFL history to register 2,000 receiving yards in a season.
He also broke the NFL record with his eighth consecutive 100-yard performance and his fourth consecutive game with at least 10 catches. And he also tied Michael Irving’s NFL record with his 11th 100-yard game of the season.
Johnson will go for the 2,000-yard mark next week in the season finale vs. Chicago.
Stafford was praising Johnson. Johnson was giving Stafford credit for being just as much a part of the record for delivering him the football.
Both Stafford and Johnson are putting up amazing statistical seasons in terms of yards, but there’s one big difference between this year's 4-11 season and last year's 10-6 mark – touchdowns.
Stafford has 17 touchdowns on the season and Johnson five. Last year, Stafford had 36 heading into the final week of the season and Johnson 15.
Stafford set a NFL record Saturday night when he threw for 443 yards without a touchdown. It’s the highest yardage total without a score since Joe Montana had 441 in a game vs. Washington in 1986.
Part of the reason for lack of touchdowns for Stafford is the fact that he hasn't had his full compliment of receivers for most of the year, and they haven't been able to find the right match ups in the red zone like they did a year ago.
Johnson said this week that the record would mean more if the Lions were winning at the same time.
Stafford needs 305 yards next week to reach 5,000 yards for a second consecutive season.
The third-year defensive tackle had another good game Saturday night with four tackles, a half sack, one tackle-for-loss and four quarterback hits.
He was the most dominant force among an underperforming defensive line as a whole for a second consecutive week.