USA TODAY Sports
The Lions wideout is zeroing in on Rice's NFL record for receiving yards in a season, but the Hall of Famer said that he hopes Johnson doesn't get it.
Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson needs only 182 yards in the team's final two games to break Jerry Rice's NFL record for single season receiving yards. Rice, who is an analyst for ESPN, was complimentary of Johnson's abilities, but said that he's hoping that the record will remain his when the season is over:
"The guy’s unstoppable. He’s a playmaker, and he knows how to run routes," Rice said on NFL Live. "He can out-jump you; he’s explosive down field, so I’ll be the first one to congratulate him. But no, I don’t want him to break it. And I didn’t really know it was a record. The reason why, because I was shooting for 2,000 yards. That’s what I was trying to get."
Rice set the all-time mark of 1,848 yards in 1995, but fell short of his personal goal of breaking the 2,000-yard barrier. Johnson will probably fall short of that number as well, but needs to average 91 yards over the next two games to get to Rice's total. The Lions end the season with two straight home games against the Atlanta Falcons and Chicago Bears.
Johnson knows that he has a reasonable shot to catch Rice, but doesn't seem to be overly focused on it. He didn't know what the exact number was, but said that getting the record would be "a hell of an achievement."