Jerry Rice is one of the best football players of all time and holds many career and single-season records. He has the most career receptions, receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, and career touchdowns of any player in NFL history, but his single-season receiving yards record was broken on Saturday night.
Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson had 11 catches for 225 yards against the Atlanta Falcons to give him 1,892 yards on the season, which surpasses Rice’s record of 1,848 receiving yards achieved in 1995. Though Rice doesn’t like losing a record, he said prior to Johnson breaking his record that he wouldn’t mind Megatron break it.
“Well, you never want your record to be broken,” Rice admitted during a guest interview on ESPN Saturday, “but if anyone is going to do it, I would prefer Megatron to try and do it.”
Rice elaborated on his position.
“I believe records are meant to be broken,” he told Jon Gruden and Mike Tirico. “I’ll be the first one to congratulate this guy because I know what he stands for. He’s a hard worker. He got the major contract and he’s still hungry, and he wants to prove to everybody that he’s the best receiver to play the game.
“The thing that I really like is that he says ‘We have a chance to do something special.’ That right there told me that it’s not an individual thing, but a team concept.”
Rice also likes that Johnson has greater goals in mind.
“I think this guy is not only trying to break my record, but he’s trying to get to 2,000 yards. I tried to get to 2,000 yards and was not successful at it. I think he’s going to do it.
“I just sit back and I’m like a fan. He can run every route from the slant route to run by you with that 4.35 speed. He can outjump you and levitate his body and make those incredible catches. He has all the tools.
“This guy is really amazing. He’s a true talent, and that’s why they call him Megatron.”
Perhaps the best news of all for Rice is that Johnson is the one to break his mark, not another star wide receiver like Randy Moss, because we know Rice wouldn’t have enjoyed that.
Megatron has been among the best receivers in the NFL since beginning his career in Detroit, and he has separated himself as the top receiver in the game the past three seasons. He will be a worthy record holder, and hopefully he breaks many more records during his career.
Just a reminder: Cris Carter said last August that Johnson was not an elite wide receiver. What a dope.
In addition to setting the record for receiving yards in a season, Johnson set a record for his eighth straight 100-yard receiving game, tied a record with his 11th 100-yard receiving game of the season, and set a record with four straight games of at least 10 receptions.