Every player wants to have a great game. But having a great game when your team loses can dampen the reward of a great performance.
This past weekend’s NFL games featured an interesting contrast to the above scenario. In the Cincinnati-Detroit game, won by the Bengals 27-24, two receivers, A.J. Green of the Bengals and Calvin Johnson of the Lions, each had 155 yards in receptions. Green’s team walked away with the win, Johnson’s team the loss.
For Johnson, losing a contest when you have a big game has become a little too common. Johnson has 11 games where he gained 150 or more yards receiving in his career. Of those 11, the Lions have won only three. Those eight losses have Johnson knocking on the door of a dubious honor.
Let’s go back to 1970 (the merger of the NFL and AFL). There have been 230 different receivers who have gained 150 or more yards receiving in a game (regular season and playoffs included) that his team lost. Ninety of those players have lost two or more games where he had 150-plus yards receiving. Hall of Famer Jerry Rice had nine such games, tops on the list. Of course, he also leads the NFL with 32 games with 150 or more yards receiving.
Calvin Johnson, with his eighth 150-yard game where his team lost is now tied for second on this list. Here’s a look at the receivers whose teams have lost the most games when they had 150 or more yards receiving in a contest. Noted in parenthesis is the total number of 150+ yard games for each of these players.
150+ yard games receiving where team lost, player
9: Jerry Rice (32)
8: Tim Brown (13) , Isaac Bruce (15) , Calvin Johnson (11) , Steve Smith (14)
7: James Lofton (12)
6:Henry Ellard (12), Terrell Owens (18)
5: Torry Holt (12), Chad Johnson (7)
4: Wes Chandler (6), Marvin Harrison (11) Vincent Jackson (4), Brandon Marshall (6), Stanley Morgan (6), Andre Rison (7)
There have been 19 teams so far in 2013 where a player had 150 or more yards in receiving yards. Teams are 8-11 in those games.
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp