LIONS INSIDER

Calvin Johnson earns third straight Pro Bowl nod; Stafford and Suh alternates

Posted Dec 26, 2012

Wide receiver Calvin Johnson has been named a Pro Bowl starter while teammates Matthew Stafford and Ndamukong Suh have been named alternates.

Calvin Johnson can add Pro Bowl starter to his long list of accomplishments this season.

Johnson has been voted a NFC starter in the vote conducted by the fans, players and coaches.

It’s the third career Pro Bowl selection (2011, 2012, 2013) for the sixth-year receiver, who’s emerged as one of the games most dominant players.

In a loss to the Falcons last week, Johnson broke Jerry Rice’s single-season record for most receiving yards after catching 11 passes for 225 yards to give him 1,892 on the season. He needs 108 Sunday vs. Chicago to become the first receiver in NFL history to reach 2,000 in a season.

Johnson is the first Lions receiver to be named to the Pro Bowl three times since Herman Moore earned four nods from 1995-98.

He’s also the first Lions offensive player to earn three straight Pro Bowls selections since running back Barry Sanders (10, 1990-99).

“Being elected to the Pro Bowl for the third time – once again, it’s one those things, it’s the NFL, it’s the best league on the planet,” Johnson told detroitlions.com. “To be recognized as one of the best players – one of the best receivers in the league – it’s an honor and I’m definitely going to have fun in Hawaii.”

Johnson paid for all his receivers to accompany him to Hawaii last year.

He joins Moore (4, 1995-98) and Gail Cogdill (3, 1961,1963-64) as the only receivers in Lions history to be selected to three Pro Bowls.

“These guys – the guys you go up against every day, it’s means a lot when they vote for you because you have to see them on the field for 60 minutes and they know what you’re about because they see it on film,” Johnson told detroitlions.com of getting voted to the team by his peers. “They watch film just as much as you do, so to be elected by your peers, it’s respect.”

Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and quarterback Matthew Stafford were named Pro Bowl alternates.

Suh, who leads all NFC defensive tackles with seven sacks, was also named an alternate last season. Getting the nod ahead of Suh are the 49ers' Justin Smith, the Bears' Henry Melton and the Bucs' Gerald McCoy.

Interestingly, Stafford was not named an alternate last year when he threw for 5,000 yards and 41 touchdowns.

He’ll reach 5,000 yards again this season with 305 more yards against the Bears Sunday, but has only 16 touchdowns. He'd be the first player in NFL history to throw for 5,000 yards in back-to-back seasons.

The Packers’ Aaron Rodgers, Falcons' Matt Ryan and Redskins' Robert Griffin III will quarterback the NFC team in the game Jan. 27.