Calvin Johnson’s 329-yard day against the Cowboys is being overshadowed. That’s probably just how Calvin Johnson wants it.
Instead of talking about a performance for the ages, the media and Twitter are focused solely on what Dez Bryant said – sorry, yelled – during his sideline tirade. It’s another example of how the NFL is just as much a soap opera as it is a game (which is fine), but let’s not lose focus on what truly mattered in this game on Sunday: 329 yards.
329 yards! Do we realize we just witnessed Megatron in his truest robotic form?
We see this number, but I’m not sure we know exactly what it represents. To put it in more context, I’ve gathered up 10 facts about Megatron’s day that’ll make you go all Al Michaels: “He did what?”
Calvin Johnson’s Week 8 receiving total was greater than Dwayne Bowe’s season total.
That’s right, Bowe owners. In one game, Calvin Johnson posted 27 more receiving yards than Dwayne Bowe has all season.. Bowe is currently averaging 37.8 yards per game, which is just 15 yards more than what Calvin Johnson averaged with each reception on Sunday.
Calvin Johnson’s standard fantasy total from Week 8 was higher than any non-Austin Pettis St. Louis receiver's season total.
Remember at the beginning of the season when everyone was fired up about Givens, Austin and Quick? Yeah, well, not only did Megatron equal their fantasy totals in a single game, but they’re being far outscored by teammate Austin Pettis in fantasy.
If Week 8 was Calvin Johnson’s only game, he’d rank in the top half in reception NEP among wide receivers.
Our reception net expected points (NEP) metric looks at how many points a player is contributing for his team with each catch. Megatron’s Week 8 reception NEP was 23.09, which would place him 67th out of 174 qualified receivers in the league with a reception NEP score. In other words, Calvin Johnson made more of a contribution for his team in Week 8 than the majority of receivers have for their team all season long.
Calvin Johnson didn’t lead the league in Week 8 targets. Harry Douglas did.
The result? Douglas had 12 catches on 18 targets for 121 yards and zero scores. Calvin Johnson, with two fewer targets, caught two more passes for 208 more yards. In case you were wondering, the difference between Harry Douglas as your number one receiver to Calvin Johnson is “a lot”.
Calvin Johnson’s receiving total was higher than all but three quarterback’s passing totals
And clearly, because Matthew Stafford was throwing him the ball, Stafford was one of those quarterbacks. The other two were Peyton Manning and Drew Brees. You know, no big deal – just two of the best quarterbacks of all time.
If we combine the sixth- through ninth-highest running back rushing totals from Week 8, it still doesn't equal Megatron.
Lamar Miller (89 rushing yards), Kendall Hunter (84), Stevan Ridley (79) and Maurice Jones-Drew (75) finished sixth through ninth respectively in rushing this past week. In total, they carried the ball for 327 yards on the ground. Calvin, if you’ve randomly jumped to this section of the article without reading the rest, had 329.
Calvin Johnson’s Week 8 receiving total was only four yards off from Trent Richardson’s season-long total.
Yes, that’s even more Trent Richardson hate. Maybe he can use it as fuel to start producing for his fantasy owners. Maybe.
As a side note, while doing this I noticed that Andre Ellington has now passed T-Rich in rushing. So yeah, that happened too.
Tom Brady has thrown for 329 yards in a single game exactly zero times this year.
I suppose this is a good time to promote the piece I wrote on Brady yesterday, where I claimed he should turn things around, but probably too late for fantasy owners. Brady’s been miserable throwing the ball this year, and has just one game over 300 yards passing. And it came against the league’s worst secondary.
Only 13 tight ends have more than 329 yards receiving this season.
Jermichael Finley would’ve been on this list if not for his injury-plagued season, as would Owen Daniels. However, players like Tyler Eifert, Jermaine Gresham, Kyle Rudolph and Brandon Myers still haven’t hit the 329-yard mark in 2013.
Before Sunday, Calvin Johnson was on pace for 1,230 receiving yards. Now he’s on pace for 1,759.
Hooray for stat extrapolation! Remember, Calvin missed a game earlier in the year, which brings his end-of-season total down a notch. But regardless, this just goes to show that one monster game can really change the way we view a player, especially so early (halfway) in a season.