Will Calvin Johnson Break Jerry Rice’s Career Receiving Yards Record?

August 14, 2014 Receiving

Over the last three seasons, Calvin Johnson has caught 5,137 yards of passes. That’s an incredible amount, and the most by a player over any three-year span in NFL history. That stat by itself isn’t proof of Johnson’s greatness – after all, Detroit has thrown 2,040 passes over the last three years, also the most […]

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Trivia: Receiving Yards per Game Over a Three-Year Period

June 1, 2014 Receiving

Over the last three years, Calvin Johnson has 5,137 receiving yards in 46 games.  That’s an average of 111.7 receiving yards per game, the most by any player over a three-year stretch in NFL history.  That mark comes with a bit of an asterisk, of course, as the Lions have attempted 2,040 passes since the […]

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Wide Receivers and Weighted Team Pass Attempts

April 10, 2014 Receiving

In his seven-year career, Calvin Johnson has already recorded 9,328 receiving yards. And for those curious about these sorts of things, he’s the career leader in receiving yards per game at 88.0, too. But Johnson has also benefited greatly from playing on teams that have thrown a weighted average of 635 pass attempts per season. […]

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True Receiving Yards, Part I

August 15, 2013 Statgeekery

As you guys know, Neil Paine is the man. Here’s the latest reason: he came up with a metric called True Receiving Yards, the latest in a long line of thoughts in our Wide Receiver Project. So, what are True Receiving Yards? We start with Adjusted Catch Yards, defined as 5 * Receptions + Receiving […]

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Career Receiving Numbers Translated to the 2012 Passing Environment

March 6, 2013 Receiving

I’ve written several posts about how to grade wide receivers and did a three-part series on one ranking system two weeks ago. Grading wide receivers requires one to adjust for era, but there are many different ways to do that. Calvin Johnson caught 122 passes last year for 1,964 yards and five touchdowns. In 1973, […]

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The predictive value of target data, part II

February 15, 2013 Fantasy

On Monday, I argued that target data has some predictive value. I wanted to update that post with a few observations. Wide Receiver Targets In the original post, I looked at year-to-year data for all players with at least 500 receiving yards in Year N and at least 8 games played for the same team […]

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Analyzing the leaders in targets in 2012

February 12, 2013 Receiving

Reggie Wayne led the NFL in targets last year, but that’s a little misleading since the Colts ranked 6th in pass attempts. As a percentage of team targets, Wayne ranked second in the league, but he was a distant number two to Brandon Marshall, who saw two out of every five Bears passes in 2013. […]

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Which team had a better passing offense in 2012: Houston or Detroit?

February 6, 2013 Receiving

The off-season is here. But Football Perspective isn’t going anywhere. I prefer off-season writing to in-season writing, as football theory and history is more compelling to me than figuring out whether to rank the Lions ahead of the Bills. At the old Pro-Football-Reference Blog, we did some of our best work in the off-season, and […]

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Examining the seasons of Calvin Johnson and Brandon Marshall in a different light

January 1, 2013 History

Three weeks ago, I set forth the argument that perhaps Calvin Johnson was not even the most productive receiver in his own division. While Megatron racked up the numbers, I argued that you have to account for the situation. The relevant situation here is that the Lions ran an incredible 1,160 plays compared to just […]

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NYT Fifth Down: Post-week 16

December 25, 2012 NYT

This week at the New York Times I looked at some record-breaking performances from week 16. Sunday was a record-setting day in the N.F.L. In case you missed it … The rookie Minnesota Vikings kicker Blair Walsh connected on a 56-yard field goal in the second quarter against the Texans, making him the first kicker […]

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NYT Fifth Down: Post-week 15

December 18, 2012 NYT

A double post at the New York Times this week. Did you know that Alex Smith is seven attempts away from qualifying for eligibility for certain rate-based statistics? If Jim Harbaugh wants to game the system — and this is Harbaugh — he could ptobably that Smith breaks the completion percentage record, set by Drew […]

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Checkdowns: Brandon Marshall Underrated, Calvin Johnson Overrated?

December 11, 2012 Checkdowns

I’ve noted a few times this year that Calvin Johnson, in his pursuit of Jerry Rice’s single-season receiving record, has quite an advantage on his side. The Lions have attempted more passes through 13 games of any team ever, and seem likely to break the pass attempts record. Obviously it’s easier to gain more receiving […]

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NYT Fifth Down: Post-week 13

December 4, 2012 NYT

This week at the New York Times, I blush when discussing Andrew Luck, praise the great Calvin Johnson as he tries to surpass Jerry Rice (but with a caveat), and take a look at some other random stats (including some absurd numbers from Adrian Peterson). Trivia: Brandon Marshall has gained over 1,000 yards on both […]

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Profiling Pat Studstill

December 3, 2012 History

On Sunday, Calvin Johnson became just the second player in NFL history to gain at least 125 receiving yards in five consecutive games. He’s also the second Lion to hit those marks. As you’ve probably figured it out by the title, the only player with 125+ receiving yards in five straight games prior to Johnson […]

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NYT Fifth Down: Post-week 10

November 14, 2012 NYT

This week at the New York Times I looked at several interesting statistical developments in both the 2012 season and in week 10. Even in today’s pass-happy N.F.L., it pays to have one of the best running backs. In one of the bigger surprises of the season, the best of the best is Minnesota’s Adrian […]

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