As Sean Yuille of SB Nation's Pride of Detroit noted on Monday, Lions receiver Calvin Johnson is currently on pace to generate 1,828 yards receiving this year, 20 yards off the all-time receiving mark that Jerry Rice set in 1995. This obviously brings the conversation closer to home, knowing our eventual Pro Bowl receiver is having a fantastic season. How good though in context to franchise records?
Following his 111-yard performance against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, A.J. Green is on pace to generate only 1,486 yards receiving. Yet this season he's already surpassed his rookie season in receptions (67) and touchdowns (10) with a pace that will tickle 100 receptions and 15 touchdowns; Green should surpass his rookie yards receiving total next week against the Chargers.
Let's take a look at the numbers:
112: Receptions by T.J. Houshmandzadeh in 2007. In truth the Bengals have only had two receivers with 100 receptions or more in franchise history. Prior to Houshmandzadeh, Carl Pickens held the franchise record with 100 in 1996, breaking his own record of 99 in 1995. Chad Johnson's personal-best was 97 grabs in 2005.
Green (67) will fall about 15 receptions shy of Housthmandzadeh's mark.
1,440: Chad Johnson holds the top-five single-season yardage marks, topped by his 2007 performance. Figure that A.J. Green, currently on pace to break this mark, forcefully injects his name within the Johnson monopoly. A quick note on all of this: Based on Green's current production, he'll surpass Johnson's career mark in only 134 games (or at some point between the 2019 and 2020 seasons).
17: Carl Pickens hasn't received much recognition since leaving for the Tennessee Titans in 2000; likely because he was mostly an annoying malcontent. But he was truly an exceptional receiver; before Chad Johnson, Carl Pickens held mostly every record on the books. Pickens' 17 touchdowns in 1995 hasn't been sniffed, with the second-most during a single-season being 12 touchdowns from T.J. Houshmandzadeh and... Carl Pickens.
24.0: This is average yards receiving during a season, set by Eddie Brown in 1988, who generated 1,273 yards receiving on just 53 receptions. Green has no shot at this, unless he surpasses 2,000 yards receiving. But we could see this record being addressed one year if Andrew Hawkins becomes more consistent as a deep (and improvised) threat.
5: The record for most 100-yard receiving games in a season is five, held by Chad Ochocinco (three times), Carl Pickens (twice), Tim McGee and Eddie Brown. Green currently has four 100-yard receiving games this year and with five games left, not only can he tie the record, but break it as well.