Lions receiver Calvin Johnson finished 36 yards short of 2,000 this season, and he finishes with a new NFL record of 1,964. It's fair to wonder when the next time a receiver will have a reasonable shot at 2,000 yards.
For more than 90 years of NFL football, the most a receiver put up was 1,848 yards - which is still a pretty good afternoon away from 2,000. Even in the modern pass-happy NFL, a receiver reaching 2,000 might be unrealistic.
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Johnson got close to 2,000 due to a perfect storm. He's easily the most talented receiver in the league on a Lions team that has no other great option in the passing game - especially after a rash of injuries. The Lions also have an ineffective running game and spent many games playing from behind. Quarterback Matthew Stafford broke a NFL season record for attempts, and many of those went to Johnson. With all those factors in his favor, Johnson still didn't get to 2,000. It's hard to imagine a receiver having more favorable circumstances.
Johnson had a shot on Sunday to get to 2,000 but the Bears did a good job against him. Bears cornerback Charles Tillman covered him pretty well most of the game. Johnson and Stafford missed on a couple potential connections that could have pushed him over the line for 2,000 yards. He needed 108 yards and ended up with 72, on five catches.
Johnson has to settle for having the best single-season, yardage wise, of any receiver in NFL history. That record might last a long time.
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