Calvin Johnson will go down as one of the best wide receivers in Detroit Lions history. While the way Johnson and the Lions parted ways wasn’t the most memorable, no one can deny how great he was on the field.
Johnson 2011 season made him No. 1
In 2011, Calvin Johnson was unstoppable. That season alone was one of the main reasons that ESPN gave Johnson the decade award as the top receiver, according to MLive.
Johnson hauled in 96 passes for 1,680 yards and a career-high 16 touchdowns in 2011. Even more incredible is that Johnson hit triple digits in yardage in five games that season – eclipsing the 200-yard mark on two different occasions.
ESPN indicated that “Megatron was at his most dangerous” in 2011.
The popular sports station came to this conclusion by using a mode they referred to as DVOA and DYAR – meaning defense-adjusted yards above replacement. By that theory, Johnson’s 2011 season was the best of the decade by any receiver in the game.
Yes, higher than Antonio Brown’s great 2014 and 2015 seasons, and Michael Thomas’s record-breaking 2019 season. If 2011 was that great for Johnson, what about 2012?
While ESPN ranked 2011 the best for Johnson, 2012 looks a lot better.
Johnson was incredible in 2012. He totaled 1,964 yards, caught 122 passes, and averaged an insane 122.8 yards per game. All of those numbers are far better than in 2011.
Evidently, with the theory ESPN used, his 2012 season was worse than the 2011 season, according to their ranking system. Either way, both seasons were incredible for Johnson and making him the wide receiver of the decade was a great choice.
In three seasons at Georgia Tech, Johnson gained over 2,900 yards and scored 28 touchdowns. Johnson skipped his senior season to head to the NFL. He was selected second overall by the Lions in the 2007 NFL Draft.