By Ashley Dunkak
Brace yourself for possibly the least surprising Player of the Month selection of all time.
Ready? Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson won NFC Offensive Player of the Month less than a week after the Dallas game in which he amassed a blistering 329 yards, setting a new NFL record for receiving yards in a regulation game.
Against the Cowboys, Johnson reeled in 14 catches (of 16 balls thrown to him) for 329 yards. The only other receiver to record more yardage in a game was the Flipper Anderson of the Los Angeles Rams in 1989, and Anderson had the benefit of overtime. He recorded 336, with 296 yards – 33 fewer than Johnson – in regulation.
Johnson’s otherworldly performance followed up an excellent one against Cincinnati, when he caught nine of 14 passes thrown to him for 155 yards and two touchdowns. Against the Cowboys, Johnson had 155 yards before halftime.
The last two games alone – heck, perhaps the last one alone – justify Johnson’s selection, but it is useful to note that he got off to a slow start as far as the month of October. He missed the Oct. 6 game because of injury. Still limited by his knee the next week, he caught just three passes for 25 yards, being used mostly as a decoy.
Evidently, Johnson is feeling better. Without a doubt, that is bad news for defenses everywhere.