STATS PACK: A closer look at Calvin Johnson’s game Sunday and his first half of the season

Posted Oct 29, 2013

Calvin Johnson’s 329 receiving yards vs. the Cowboys helped him jump from 20th to first in the NFL in receiving yards

Entering Week 8 of the season, receiver Calvin Johnson ranked 20th in the NFL in receiving yards with 492. He was 137 yards behind league-leader Torrey Smith (629) of Baltimore.

After Sunday’s 329-yard explosion against the Cowboys, Johnson jumped 20 spots and now leads the NFL in receiving yards with 821 yards. He has 87 yards more than Cincinnati’s A.J. Green, who is second with 734.

His 329-yard effort Sunday was the third-highest single game total for yards from scrimmage in NFL history. Only Flipper Anderson (336 in 1989) and Billy Cannon (330 in 1961) had more.

"He’s a big play machine," head coach Jim Schwartz said. "When he’s covered he’s still open."

Consider this, in the past 50 games, Johnson has recorded 5,349 yards for an average of 107.0 yards per game. Only Hall of Fame receiver Lance Alworth ever recorded a 50-game average higher than Johnson. Alworth’s best 50-game stretch of his career was 108.3.

Johnson, Alworth, Jerry Rice and Charlie Hennigan are the only players to ever record an average of 100-plus receiving yards over 50 games. Rice’s best 50-game stretch was 102.1 and Heenigan’s best was 101.1.

In closing, Calvin Johnson is pretty good.


Offense: 3rd overall (20 rush, 2 pass) -- 7th in points scored

Defense: 25th overall (18 rush, 25 pass) -- 20th points allowed

  • The Lions became just the fifth team since 1950 to gain 140-plus rushing yards and 480-plus passing yards in a game Sunday (L.A. Rams, 1951; San Diego Chargers, 1982; Washington Redskins, 1990; Houston Texans, 2012).
  • In 2013, the Lions are 1 of 2 teams to score 20-plus points in at least 2 different quarters (27 in second quarter vs. Chicago; 24 in fourth quarter vs. Dallas). Denver is the other with four 20-plus-point quarters.
  • Matthew Stafford passed for 488 yards in the win Sunday. He now has six career games with 400-plus passing yards in his first five NFL seasons. He trails only Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (7) for the most such games in the first five seasons of a career.
  • Stafford currently ranks 10th in the NFL with a passer rating of 94.7, but that ranking jumps up to 120.9 in the fourth quarter. Only Peyton Manning (122.3) and Tony Romo (121.4) have a higher rating in the last 15 minutes of the football game.
  • The Lions offense has been a juggernaut this season. There’s no better indication of that than the first downs they’ve racked up. The offense is second in the NFL with 185 first downs through the halfway point of the season. Only Denver (225) has more. Running back Reggie Bush has 41 of those, third-most by any player in the NFL.
  • The defense, on the other hand, has some work to do. Want to know how a defense can rank second in the league on third down (29 percent), sixth in red zone defense (75 points) and have 13 turnovers and still rank 25th in total defense and 20th in points allowed? Big plays are the answer. The Lions rank last in the NFL allowing opponents to score 99 points in eight games outside of the red zone. That’s more than double the league average of 47.
  • Reggie Bush is currently seventh in the NFC in rushing with 518 yards. He’s also second on the team with 335 receiving yards. That’s a total of 853 yards in the first half of the NFL season. That ranks third in the NFL behind Jamaal Charles (1,018) and LeSean McCoy (1,017). The eighth-year back is on pace for 1,706 total yards this season.
  • Sam Martin ranks seventh in the NFL with 26 touchbacks. Just for comparisons sake, the Lions had 30 touchbacks all of last season. Martin ranks fourth in punting average (48.5) and fourth in net average (42.5).
  • The Lions have recorded 37 plays of 20-plus yards this year. That’s the fourth-most in the NFL. The league average is 29.