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.
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99 Stats Until Kickoff (#87) First Annual NFL “Takeo” Honors… 2012 top performances by players not in the playoffs
From May 30 and every day until September 5… the start of the 2013 NFL season… Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ will publish “99 Stats Until Kickoff” a daily dose of NFL stats that will get you ready for the 2013 NFL season.)
Each year, 12 of the NFL’s 32 teams get a chance to play in the playoffs. Names like Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Adrian Peterson, Wes Welker and Ray Rice punctuated the rosters of the 12 playoff teams in 2012. But for the other 20 teams and their players, the off-season began once that 16th game was finished. Unfortunately, what gets lost when the playoffs start is the performances of some of those players whose teams didn’t make the post-season.
To honor those players on the 20 teams that did not make the 2012 NFL playoffs, I’ve created an honor to recognize the top performances from their seasons. In honor of Takeo Spikes, the San Diego Chargers linebacker who has now played 219 NFL regular season games without playing in the playoffs, I present the first annual “Takeo” Honors. These honors are presented to the players from non-playoff teams who topped the list in 19 different statistical categories.
(Numbers for each of the statistical categories are based on only those players whose teams did not make the playoffs.)
2012 NFL “Takeo” Honors
Most passing TDs: Drew Brees, New Orleans, 43
Highest Passer Rating: Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh, 97.0
Most rushing yards: Jamaal Charles, Kansas City, 1,509
Most rushing TDs: Doug Martin, Tampa Bay/Trent Richardson, Cleveland, 11 each
Most points scored (non-kicker): Dez Bryant, Dallas, 74
Most points scored (kicker): Lawrence Tynes, N.Y. Giants, 145
Most field goals made: Lawrence Tynes, N.Y. Giants, 33
Most sacks: Cameron Wake, Miami, 15
Most tackles: James Laurinitis, St. Louis, 117
Most interceptions: Tim Jennings, Chicago. 9
Fumbles recovered: Patrick Peterson, Arizona, 5
Fumbles forced: Charles Tillman, Chicago, 10
Highest average per punt: Brandon Fields, Miami, 50.2
Highest yards per kickoff return (min. of 16 returns): Leodis McKelvin, Buffalo, 28.3
Highest yards per punt return (min. of 16 returns): Leodis McKelvin, Buffalo, 18.7
Most yards from scrimmage: Calvin Johnson, Detroit, 1964
Most all-purpose yards: Calvin Johnson, Detroit, 1964
2012 NFL “Takeo” Honors Player of the Year: My selection for the Takeo Honors POY is Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson. Johnson led the league with 122 receptions and tops our list with the most yards from scrimmage (1964) and all-purpose yards (1964). He broke the single-season record for most receiving yards and led the entire league with his 122 catches.
“99 Stats Before Kickoff” (Stats you need to know before the start of the 2013 NFL season) is available from e-book publisher Smashwords. Go to www.smashwords.com to download a copy, including a pdf version which can be viewed on your home computer. Cost is $2.99.